The Gospel According to St Luke: Luke Chapter Fourteen: Read here:
Jesus Had Sabbath Dinner at the Home of a Chief Pharisee: Luke 14:
‘And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him’ (vs. 1).
Always and forever watching. Never found any fault.
Jesus Healed Man with Dropsy: Luke 14:2-6:
‘And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
‘And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying,
“Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?”
‘And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
‘And answered them, saying,
“Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?”
‘And they could not answer him again to these things.’
Is it sometimes more important to us how we look to others than who we can help?
Although we are all meant to learn from the following discourse, Jesus was at this time speaking directly to those with whom He was having dinner. Could it be that we, like them, need to be reminded about meekness? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to consider ourselves to be among the most important of the guests and then be asked to move to a lower seat?
(Has anyone ever tried to seat in an expensive concert seat which he did not purchase? You would have been asked to show your ticket, and then escorted to your own meager place. I think you’d enjoy the concert much better if you’d have sat in your own seat to begin with.)
Jesus Addressed the Dinner Guests and His Host (with a Parable): Luke 14:7-14:
‘And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
“When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee,
“Give this man place;”
“and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
“But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee,
“Friend, go up higher”:
“then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (vs. 7-11).
Next, Jesus spoke directly to His host. What things can we learn from this interchange to use when we are considering being the host ourselves?
‘Then said he also to him that bade him,
“When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
“But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just”’ (vs. 12-14).
The Lord petitions us to invite those from whom we expect nothing in return to dine with us; maybe even those who at the time appear to have nothing to give in return. Are we willing to put ourselves out there and befriend the friendless? Are we always self-serving and seeking self-gratification by showing what we think to be our best selves, by putting on a show of niceties for those we have no need. Whom are we trying to impress? Isn’t it the Lord’s opinion that should matter most to us?
Should we not emulate Him who is the best example of all?
Those Who are Invited to the Lord’s Supper: Luke 14:15-24:
‘And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him,
“Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”
‘Then said he unto him,
“A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.”
“And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him,
“I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.”
“And another said,
“I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.”
“And another said,
“I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
“So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things.
“Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant,
“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”
“And the servant said,
“Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.”
“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.
“For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
Have we acknowledged our invitation from the Lord? Are we eager to dine with Him? Did we at one point accept His invitation, but now we make excuses when the time for our Sabbath communion approaches? Will he allow us to dine with Him in heaven if we choose not to do so here on earth?
Israel, with Judah in particular, was bidden first and did not accept the Lord’s invitation when He brought the gospel to the Jews. So the gospel was taken to the Gentiles, and will go from there to the Lost Tribes of Israel and to all the heathen nations.
The rich and the learned, and those who feel to exalt themselves, have no time for the Lord or for the mysteries of the kingdom. They believe that they fare well in this life according to their own brilliance and industry, and they do not acknowledge Him who is the Light and the Giver of all good gifts. They refuse His invitation to come (and often, they hinder others from doing so).
So the gospel is taken from those self-exalted souls and given to the humble, the needy, and the hungry. As they embrace it, they are filled with the Holy Ghost, and then they are made rich through Jesus Christ.
The Price of Discipleship: Luke 14:25-35
‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea, and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, he cannot be my disciple.
“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Wherefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying,
“This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
‘And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,
“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
‘Then certain of them came to him, saying,
“Good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life?”
‘And Jesus answered, saying,
“Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written.
“For I am sent that ye might have life.
“Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good; But if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”‘ (JST in italics).