There is one sentence in this parable that has been sadly misused. "Go out," said the master, "and compel them to come in." Long ago, Augustine used that text as a justification for religious persecution. It was taken as a command to coerce people into the Christian faith. It was used as a defense of the Inquisition, the thumb-screw, the rack, the threat of death, and imprisonment, the campaigns against heretics, and all those things that are the shame of Christianity. Beside it we should always set another text---The Love of Jesus controls us (2 Corinthians 5:14.) In the kingdom of God, there is only one compulsion---the compulsion of love.
Though this parable spoke with a threat to the Jews who had refused God's invitation, with an undreamed-of glory to the sinners, the outcasts, and the gentiles who had never dreamed of receiving it, there are in it truths that are forever permanent, and as new as today. In the parable, the invited guests made their excuses, and the excuses do not differ very much today.
(1st) the first man said that he had bought a field, and was going to see it. He allowed the claims of business to override the claims of God. It is still possible for a person to be so immersed in this world that he has no time to worship, and even no time to pray.
(2nd) the second man said that he had bought five yokes of oxen and that he was going to try them out. He let the claims of novelty usurp the claims of Jesus. It is perilously easy for a new game, a new hobby, even a new friendship, to take up the time that should be kept for God.
(3rd) the third man said, "I have married a wife, and I cannot come." It is one of the tragedies of life when good things crowd the higher claims of God. They live best together who live with God; they serve each other best their fellow-men; the atmosphere of a home is most lovely when those who dwell in it remember that they are also members of the great family of God.
Life Application: Have you ever made excuses for your lack of commitment to worship our Savior, and to attend church? Since I have been a pastor, I have heard just about every excuse. Don't let excuses stop you from worshiping God. Always make worship, family, and church be of utmost importance to you.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, since I have been a pastor, and teacher I have heard all kinds of excuses from people who claim to be Your children but aren't living it. Please forgive me for often having a wrong attitude about those who say they love you but have little time to worship You or attend Church. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to convict them. They don't realize that they might miss Heaven. Amen!