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THE GOSPEL OF LUKE
LESSONS AT A FEAST ABOUT INVITATIONS
Matthew 12:11: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Now it happened when Jesus entered into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees – this was on the Sabbath in order to have a meal – they were all watching him closely.632
They were all watching him closely: The self-righteous legalist is always judgmental and watches others to make sure they obey their
rules while they hypocritically ignore them.
And, look, a certain man suffering from dropsy633
was before Jesus.
Dropsy: The Greek is HYDROPIKOS.
Jesus responded to those versed in the Law and the Pharisees, saying:
“Is it permissible to heal on the Sabbath634 or not?”
Heal on the Sabbath: Compare Matthew 12:10; Luke 6:9; 13:15; John 7:23.
But, they all remained silent. So Jesus laid his hands on the man and healed him and then sent him away.
Then Jesus asked them:
“Which one of you whose son or ox falls into a well will not instantly pull either out on the Sabbath?”LK14:6
And none of them had any answers.
Luke 14:7-11 – Humility and the Lowest Seat
Now Jesus noticed how each was trying to choose the places of honor,635
so he began to tell a parable to those who had been invited:
The places of honor: Or, chief rooms, first couches. The place closest to the host or his honored guest. This is possibly a wedding
feast. Most cultures follow a similar model, with some having a long table and the host at one end, while others have circular tables and the “head” table in the preferred location. It is an unfortunate affliction of human character to seek honor,
most often undeserved. The motives behind this are political, social, or material. Control may also be an agenda, showing various guests where they belong in the hierarchy.
LK14:8“When you are invited by someone to wedding festivities, you should not recline at the places of honor.636 For someone more distinguished637 than you may have been invited by the host.
You should not recline at the places of honor: Jesus is an invited guest and yet he feels moved to rebuke those seeking “places
of honor.” It would be curious to know where Jesus was placed. Some may have tried to recline closer to him as the invited guest and a well-known healing rabbi.
Someone more distinguished: Or, KJV: a more honourable man than thou; TCN: someone of higher rank; BAS: a more important man; RSV: a more eminent man. Jesus is aware of social hierarchy. He does not condemn the normal
respect one person is shown over another on different occasions, but rather the seeking of honor that does not belong at the moment.
LK14:9And the host will come to you with the one he invited and tell you, ‘Give this person your place.’ Then very embarrassed638 you will move down to occupy the lowest place.
Embarrassed: Because of self-pride.
LK14:10Instead, when you are invited go and recline in the last place. Then, when the host who invited you may tell you, ‘Friend, move up to the higher place.’ You will be held in honor before all those present at the table with you.LK14:11Because everyone exalting self639 will be humiliated, and the one humbling
self will be exalted.”
Everyone exalting self: This is a strong echo of Proverbs 29:23. Compare notes on Matthew 23:12.
[Psalm 18:27; James 4:6] One way or another all persons will have to humble themselves. This will either be a matter of humiliation or self-humbling.
Luke 14:12-15 – A Feast without an Agenda
Then Jesus also told the one who had invited him:
“When you prepare a dinner or supper, do not invite640 your friends,
or brothers, or relatives, or rich neighbors. For they might invite you in return641 and it would
become a repayment to you.
Do not invite: Jesus possibly means, “do not invite only…” It would be normal at a wedding feast to have family
and friends present.
Invite you in return: A common sense of responsibility or obligation to re-invite persons
who have always included you.
LK14:13Instead, when you prepare a banquet, invite the poor,642 the crippled,
the lame, and the blind.
Invite the poor: The Christians who obey this directive from the Nazarene would form one small village. Jesus encourages empathy in sharing one’s blessings in a charitable manner. Charity means kindness that cannot be repaid materially, socially, or politically. Many a banquet has had a political, social, or material agenda from which the host expects to increase the value of his stock. Those Christians who find themselves always inviting the same small clique do well to meditate on the Lord’s teaching here.
LK14:14As a result you will be blessed,643 because they have no means to repay
you, for it will all be repaid to you in the resurrection644 of the righteous.”
Blessed: Such have God’s blessing for their genuine charity without an agenda or motive.
Repaid to you in the resurrection: Charity and hospitality are not only their own reward in Christian giving, but such will also be repaid – not
“by” the resurrection – but “in” the raising of the dead.
Now when one person heard this among those reclining at table with him, he said: “Blessed is the person who will eat bread in the kingdom of The God!”645
The kingdom of The God: It is possible a parallel is being drawn with the Nazarene’s phrase, “resurrection
of the righteous.”
Matthew 22:2-10: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
LK14:16 Jesus told him:
“A certain man647 was preparing a great banquet and he invited
A certain man: Likely God in the parable.
He invited many: The whole Jewish nation during the ministry of Jesus.
LK14:17He sent out his slave649 at the time for supper to tell those invited
to come because everything was now prepared.
His slave: Likely God’s Son, the Messiah sent to Israel in the year 29 AD.
LK14:18However, all together they each began to give excuses.650 The first said to the slave: ‘I just bought a field and I must go out to inspect it. I ask you to have me excused.’
They each began to give excuses: Three are given. The first two involve possessions. The last a personal matter. None of these are
wrong in themselves. The Jewish generation does not realize – because of wicked hearts – the opportunity before them. When invited they put other matters first, or give possessions greater priority. Materialism has destroyed the Jews privilege of being the first invited by God to His Son’s wedding feast. [2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7, 8] These excuses – or, reasons – will come back to haunt them in the Judgment.
LK14:19Another said: ‘I bought651 five yokes of oxen and I need to go
and examine them. I ask you to have me excused.’
I bought: Both Jews have bought something they have not seen, indicating they are very rich, if not wealthy.
LK14:20Still another said: ‘I married652 a woman so I am unable to come.’
I married: Or, possibly something like, “I just became engaged…” and so there is a lot of personal excitement and happiness. The Jewish man is completely focused on this new relationship and no life exists outside of it. It is also possible that the man’s wife would object.
LK14:21Now the slave returned653 and reported to his master all these things.
Then the master of the house said to his slave: ‘Quickly, go out into the streets and the city lanes and bring here the poor,654 the crippled, the blind and the lame!’
The slave returned: Or, came, went back. It is clear the slave was with the master before and has now returned. This may be an allusion
to Christ’s pre-existence. The Greek is PARAGENOMENOS [having come alongside] HO [the] DOULOS [slave] APENGEILEN [reported back]. Compare Philippians 2:7-11 which has all the elements. The slave returns to his Master in heaven upon his ascension. [Acts
1:9-11] For details on the pre-existence of Christ see Biblical Articles on the subject.
Bring here the
poor: The Jewish hierarchy and rich have turned down the invitation, now the calling goes out to the so-called dregs of Jewish society in Judea between the years 33-36 AD.
LK14:22Afterward, the slave said: ‘Master, everything you commanded has been done, and there is still room.’LK14:23So the master said to the slave: ‘Go out into the roadways655 and the farms and compel them to come in so that my house may be filled.
Go out into the roadways: To the non-Jews after the year 36 AD.
LK14:24For I assure you that none of those people who had been invited656 will
taste my banquet!’”
None of those people who had been invited: The Jewish nation in general, particularly the religious
Matthew 10:38; 16:24: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Mark 8:34: For
details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark.
Now there was a large crowd present, and so Jesus turned to them and said:
LK14:26“If someone comes to me and does not love me more659 than all others – father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, indeed also his own soul – such a person can never be my disciple.660
Love me more: Or, KJV: hate; BER: without prizing far less dearly; TAY: love me far more. The word “hate” may mean “to
love less.” Before anything else no matter what, discipleship to Christ must come first. This may seem unfeeling in the short term, but in the grand design of God’s purpose a privilege beyond description lies before such a disciple willing to pay
the price. Nothing here means to reject family or personal relationships. Jesus means he must become the priority in life.
Can never be my disciple: That is, the “genuine disciple.” [John 8:31 NCMM] Millions of Christians have attempted to become disciples of Christ without the complete love the Nazarene requires. Most have shown more love of country, materialism,
family, friends, leisure and pleasure.
LK14:27Whoever does not shoulder a personal stake661 and follow me can never
be my disciple.
Shoulder a personal stake: Or, bear his cross, shoulder his cross. Compare Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23. [Galatians 6:14] Likely the meaning is: “shoulder a life of self-less sacrifice.”
LK14:28For who among you wanting to construct a tower does not first sit down and figure out the cost662 to see if there is enough for completion.
Figure out the cost: Or, calculate the expense, figure out, work out. The analogy is regarding the cost of discipleship.
LK14:29Otherwise, having laid the foundation and not having enough to finish, everyone watching will start to ridicule such a person.LK14:30They will say, ‘This person began to build but was unable to finish.’LK14:31Or, what king about to engage in battle against another king does not sit down and consider if he is able with ten thousand to confront the other with twenty thousand coming against him?LK14:32Otherwise, while still some distance he will send an ambassador and sue for peace.LK14:33So, then, all of you who will not renounce all possessions663 cannot
be my disciple.
Renounce all possessions: Or, KJV: that forsaketh not; ALF: biddeth not farewell; RHM: doth not bid adieu unto; GDS: who does not
say goodbye to; BAS: is not ready to give up. The Greek is APOTASSETAI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #657, to say adieu by departing or dismissing; to renounce, bid farewell, forsake, take leave, send away]. Genuine discipleship must come from a complete
love of Christ – which includes obedience to his commandments [John 15:14] – and a complete willingness to reject all possessions. Compare notes on Luke 12:33. If someone loves another or possessions more than Christ, then discipleship is too costly.
Such persons miss out on the privilege, blessings, and assignment of the future Church. As far as their future life is concerned it will depend on their personal judgment before the “white throne.” [Compare notes on Revelation 20:12-14.]
LK14:34Salt664 is good, but if the salt has become tasteless what will it season?
Salt: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 5:13 and Mark 9:50.
LK14:35It is not suitable even for soil or manure. Everybody just throws it out. Let those with ears – listen.”
Review Questions on Chapter Fourteen
What healing occurred in a synagogue?
What is the lesson of taking the lowest seat?
What should be kept in mind when having guests?
Relate the parable of the invitations and its possible meaning?