Luke Chapter Fourteen
v.1-2 “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. AND, BEHOLD, THERE WAS A CERTAIN MAN BEFORE HIM WHICH HAD THE DROPSY.”
Proverbs 25:6-7 “6Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: 7For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.”
v.14 “14And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Jesus is still in the
house of the Pharisee who has invited him to a meal. One of the Pharisee’s friends, quite likely
another Pharisee or someone that was prominent either in business or in their
religious circles makes a statement:
“Blessed is he….” Commentators
have debated the meaning behind this statement for years. Many think that this person was referring to
the day when those that thought Jesus would overthrow
v.16-17 “16Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.”
In Matthew 22 Jesus teaches the same principles using the example of a marriage feast. The marriage feast of Christ when his bride, the church, is presented to him. In Proverbs 9; the analogy of a feast at the house and table of Wisdom is depicted:
Proverbs 9:1-2, 5 “1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.” “5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.”
God has indeed built his house, the church. He has prepared the spiritual feast available to all, provided the table, the spiritual food and drink and now offers the invitation to any and all who will come and join in his spiritual feast. Now Jesus tells us about those who will refuse.
v.18 “18And 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 first says; God, I
don’t have time to attend your feast, I’ve bought a piece of land and must go
to see it. My business is such that I
just can’t find time for the spiritual things that are offered to us in this
life. Is this a valid excuse? Of course not; it doesn’t
even make sense; would we buy land sight-unseen? Oh, in years past there were people selling land in
v.19 “19And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.”
The second man in Jesus example has another excuse related to his business. He’s bought five yoke of oxen and needs to go test their strength and endurance so he can’t attend God’s spiritual supper. Like many excuses that men devise; this one is pretty flimsy too. Who would buy work animals without proving them first and who would need to prove them at supper time when most everyone else would be eating their evening meal.?
v.20 “20And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
Now we have what is probably the most flimsy of the excuses. I’ve gotten married so I cannot come. In terms of spiritual responsibilities and our relationship to God we would hope that our wives or husbands would be an encouragement, not a hindrance to our service to God. Paul did speak of the fact that husbands will be tempted to place their wives ahead of God:
I Corinthians “33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.”
And while it is usually just the opposite condition, where husbands hinder their wives, wives need to be aware that they may indeed hinder their husbands in their service to God, in carrying out the responsibilities that their God-given talents require and cost both of them their souls.
v.21 “21So that servant came, and showed 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.”
So when those that the lord of the feast invited refused to come; he sent his servants out to sweep the streets, lanes and alleys. Bring in anyone that you find, the poor, those that are crippled, even the blind beggars, invite everyone you see. What was left of the Israelite nation, represented by the three who refused, would reject Jesus and he would, literally, invite every person on earth to come to his spiritual feast in their place.
v.22-24 “22And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23And 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. 24For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
The servant of the Lord reports that there is still room at God’s feast. So he is given further instructions; go out into the highway, country roads and lanes, hedges and other places where men might be found and bring them in too. Then he closes his lesson with this admonition: Those originally invited will never taste of the feast provided. In the application to the Jews, Jesus told them this:
Matthew “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
When the Jews in
the city of
Acts “46Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
When they rejected the doctrine of Jesus Christ, Paul turned to those who would listen. And sometimes we need to quit wasting our time with the people around us who will not hear and reach out to those who will.
v.25-26 “25And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26If 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.”
What does the word translated “hate” here really mean? Jesus explains it this way in Matthew’s record:
Matthew “37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
If we do not love everyone else less than God; Jesus Christ; then we cannot be his disciple. Why? It is in total harmony with another of the instructions that Jesus gave:
Matthew “33But seek ye first the
We are to put God first. It’s that simple. Oh, we still have to honor our earthly obligations, raise our children properly, provide for our families, love our neighbor, work to earn our living from the bounty that God has provided through his providence but when it comes down to the real purpose for which man was created it is just as the wisest of men recorded:
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
v.27 “27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
Whoever does not carry his part of the load, whoever does not take up the way of the cross, bear our own cross, figuratively speaking, cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Again, another way of saying the we have to put God, Jesus Christ and his church ahead of all others in our lives, especially ourselves.
v.28 “28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Before we launch out into any endeavor on this earth, especially a business venture, we must first stop and count the cost. We need to understand the price of success, else, unless we are extremely fortunate, we will fail.
v.29-30 “29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
Those that are politically minded
and understand local politics might find a parallel here in the downtown
v.31-32 “31Or 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? 32Or
else, while the other is yet
Or what king goes to war without
understanding what the opposing king has in terms of manpower and war making
capability? Oh, they have; even in our
Jesus goes further and says that if we do make this mistake then we best be petitioning God for forgiveness and peace before it is too late. And then he repeats the admonition that he had made earlier:
v.33 “33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
We have to count the cost of being a Christian; we have to be able to bear up under the burden that may come our way when we commit ourselves to serve God. If we don’t and we drop out, Jesus says that we are not worthy of being his disciple.
v.34-35 “34Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35It 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.
If we become discouraged, if we quit and leave our commitment to serve God, Jesus says we’re just like salt that has lost its flavor, we become useless for the purpose intended. Then just like men do when salt is useless, God will cast us aside as worthless, serving no purpose, just like the tailings from an old mine that are cast aside and clutter the landscape. This is a strong indictment; it comes from God and should warn us that we need to strengthen, perhaps even renew our commitment to serve God and walk this life as his faithful children.