Tuesday, January 16
Scripture: Genesis 39-41, Luke 16
Luke 16:16 The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently invited to enter it. (or “everyone is forcing his way into it.”)
This verse, and its parallel in Matthew 11:12 has been the subject of much debate. What is the meaning of the last phrase? It turns in part on the meaning of the Greek word biazo, and whether it is active, passive or middle. The CSB treats it as passive and renders it “everyone is urgently invited to enter it.” BDAG (a Greek lexicon) says that passive biazo means, “constrain (warmly); the sense would be invite urgently of the ‘genteel constraint imposed on a reluctant guest’.” And BDAG compares it to the master of banquet in Luke 14:23 who sends out servants to “compel them to come in.”
We’ve all done this: urging someone to receive a gift. “Please…take it.” Or urging someone to come over for dinner: “Please…I want you to come.”
I’ve never seen it translated this way. (This is why I read different translations each year.) This makes a lot of sense. The gospel is being proclaimed and we are urgently inviting people to enter God’s kingdom.
I like this picture of wanting someone to come to the party, and urgently inviting them, warmly compelling them. “Please…”
When we understand what is at stake, when we deeply love people, when understand how good God is and what He wants to give people…how can we help but urgently invite them. “Come to Jesus.”
Prayer: Lord, fill me with this love and urgency and use me today to urgently invite people to your kingdom.