Luke 14:23, And the lord said unto the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
When I was growing up I spent most of my summer days at my cousins house. We’d play outside and run around the neighborhood as kids do. Swimming, tetherball, baseball, kickball, and hide-n-go seek were everyday events. My aunt and uncle’s house had bushes along the front with those pointy leaves and we learned really quickly to stay out of those hedges! They were mosquito filled, prickly, and dark and dirty underneath as well as behind.
We lost many a Frisbee and many balls have been banished because it just wasn’t worth it to get all scratched up and dirty. However, every once in a while, what had landed in the hedges was valuable enough for us to tough it out and get it. One of us would get back behind the needle tipped leaves and would recover not only what we originally intended to get, but would also find all of those toys and treasures we’d forgotten about. Things that had been lost and were hidden from our sight. Things that hadn’t seen daylight in a long time. Things that wouldn’t have been found, unless someone had searched for them.
The Bible tells us to go out into the highways and the hedges. The highways are easy. We see people standing beside them everyday holding signs declaring their need. In the spiritual, these people are easily seen and their needs are obvious. We help them all the time.
But what about the people who have been lost in the hedges? The ones who have been forgotten about and declared unworthy of rescue. The ones who aren’t on our way to work and aren’t standing in the light where God desires them to be. We’re instructed to go out INTO the hedges to compel them to come to the master’s house. Yes we may get scratched up, we may get attacked by a swarm of mosquitos who are out for blood, and we may get dirty.
But there are treasures in the hedges. There are more than we know of and we’re instructed to go in after them. We acknowledge their worth by meeting them where they are. Philippians 2:3 tells us not to do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. We know that Christ came to seek that which was lost, and He now lives in us and through us. This is our duty. This is part of our purpose.
Just like it was at my aunt and uncle’s house, the hedges were in the front yard. We didn’t have to go far, and neither do you. Say yes to the master’s command today and go out into the hedges.