Luke 14 – commentary

In this post I share my thoughts on chapter 14 of Luke in the New Testament (KJV).

Bible verse My thoughts
1 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. I would love to know more about the social customs of that time where a Pharisee would invite someone like Jesus for dinner, along with other lawyers and Pharisees. They clearly didn’t like him, and opposed his ministry, but they made the invitation and Jesus came to their homes. Did they pretend respect for Jesus in the beginning, or was it more of a “Come and defend your new ideas” invitation?
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. Also interesting is how publicans, sinners, and those in need of healing were allowed into the houses. Was this a regular custom, or were they invited by Jesus? Were they invited by the Pharisees to give them an opportunity to find fault with Jesus?
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? When it says that Jesus was “answering”, it makes me wonder what the question was. In this case it does seem that the lawyers and Pharisees had brought the man in as bait to see what Jesus would do, and to see how He would justify his actions. Or, perhaps Jesus invited him with the intent of teaching them a principle.
4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; The man didn’t stay after he was healed, so it does seem that he was invited only to see what Jesus would do with him. Perhaps the sick man was outside, and called in as a result of a discussion about keeping the Sabbath.
5 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? Again Jesus is answering. Was He answering a literal question they posed, or was He responding to an unspoken question in their hearts? It is interesting how they did not dispute the fact that they would indeed save an animal on the sabbath. I found a well-written article on the Sabbath and how some things must be done on the Sabbath, even though they might require quite a bit of effort.
6 And they could not answer him again to these things. They could see the parallel and apparently couldn’t come up with a satisfactory reason for helping an animal in distress while turning away from a person in similar distress.
7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, They had invited Jesus to accuse him, and he begins to show them how they are not interested in the welfare of others, but how they selfishly seek for status.
8 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;
9 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.
10 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.
11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. This is one of the central themes of the ministry of Jesus. I am constantly impressed by it. It is so contrary to what we learn in everyday life. The concept is simple, but living it is not simple at all because it requires sacrifice. It also requires a faith that Jesus will watch out for us if we choose to humble ourselves and do what He asks.
12 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.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
15 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.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 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. The parable of the sower is what I think of here. The cares of the world blurred the focus of these people who were invited. They weren’t doing bad things, but they allowed their priorities to shift, so those things became more important than they should have been.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. A seemingly justifiable excuse.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. Another excuse that seems to have weight.
21 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.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
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.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. They were asked to come, but they made excuses. They didn’t show by their actions that they cared about the invitation. It wasn’t as important to them as the cares of the world were.
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 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?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
35 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.

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