HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Gospel of Luke Chapter 14
Theme: Jesus goes to dinner at home of Pharisee; parable of the impolite guests; parable of the great supper; parable about building a tower; parable of a king going to war; parable about salt that loses its tang
Only Luke records the amusing occurrence of the Lord Jesus going to dinner at the home of one of the chief Pharisees, and of His giving His host and guests a lesson in etiquette in the shocking parable of the determined guest.
There are also two other parables in this chapter that are not in another Gospel . . . the building of a tower and a king preparing to make war, which both speak of discipleship. Jesus closes this chapter with the parable of the salt that loses its tang.
Jesus Goes to Dinner at Home of a Pharisee (Luke 14:1-6)
Luke 14:1 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass . . . on a certain day, seemingly somewhere in Galilee (Lk.17:11).
As he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees . . . one of the rulers, of the sect of the Pharisees. He might be either a ruler of a synagogue, or a member of one of the lesser or greater Sanhedrim; such as Nicodemus, who was of the Pharisees, and a ruler of the Jews (Jn.3:1), to this man's house Jesus went, after He came out of the synagogue, being invited by him.
To eat bread on the sabbath day . . . the Sabbath day was a feasting day with the Jews, in which they made very large meals, to honor the Sabbath. Since this man was a Pharisee, one that was stubborn in the traditions of the elders, and was also a ruler, his table was well spread.
That they watched him . . . meaning those that sat down to eat with Him, the lawyers and Pharisees. It is very likely that it was not out of pure respect to Him, that Jesus was asked to eat at this ruler's house; but with a plan to see what might be said or done by Him, so they could take any advantage against Him.
Luke 14:2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. (KJV)
And behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy . . . who sat (or lay) just before Jesus, as he was at the table; who either came there by himself to receive a cure; or since it was in a private house, and he at table too, was brought and set there on purpose by the Pharisees, to try Christ, to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath day, so that they might have somewhat against Him, which it seems they had no doubt that He would do, knowing His compassionate and benevolent personality to do good to persons in distress, whenever He had an opportunity.
Dropsy: a disease which occurred in Palestine, in which the limbs and body are swollen with water, coming from cardiac or renal disease, or the result of liver infection. The latter is the most common, as liver disease is a frequent result of recurrent attacks of malarial fever. The man was clearly able to move about, as he had come into the Pharisee's house.
Luke 14:3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? (KJV)
And Jesus answering, spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees . . . many versions for lawyers is Scribes. These, along with the Pharisees, were together in their brother Pharisee's house, to watch the actions of Jesus. He knew their plans for Him, and He knew the thoughts of their hearts, and put forth the following question.
Saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? . . . the incident for the question was the object before Him. Jesus had a compassion for the man, and was determined to cure him, but knowing that these men were doing everything to criticize Him, He knew what was agreeable to the law of God, and what was not, and what also were the traditions of their elders, which they held fast, and which did allow healing on the Sabbath day, where life was in danger. (Lk.13:14).
Luke 14:4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; (KJV)
And they held their peace . . . they were silent, choosing to say nothing, they did not know how to condemn it.
And he took him, and healed him, and let him go . . . Jesus laid his hands on him, He touched him, and in an instant the extraordinary swelling of his body diminished. Jesus, who was able to dry up the sea (Ex.14:29), could, by just a touch, dry up such a small quantity of water, as was in this man's body. Jesus then dismissed him from the table and company, and he went home perfectly cured.
Luke 14:5 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? (KJV)
And answered them, saying . . . they were secretly murmuring among each other, at what he had done,
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? . . . if one of their animals fell into a deep, watery pit, and was close to being drowned there, wouldn’t they do all they could to pull it out on the Sabbath day? Jesus, in His wisdom, states that it is much more right and necessary to cure a man, drowning with dropsy, as this man was. (Lk.13:15; Mat.12:11).
Luke 14:6 And they could not answer him again to these things. (KJV)
And they could not answer him again to these things . . . the justice, equity, mercy and kindness that appeared in ALL our Lord's reasonings, and since the cases were agreeable to their own beliefs and practices, their mouths were shut tight! They could give NO answer to them without being exposed as wicked hypocrites.
Parable of the Impolite Guests (Luke 14:7-14)
Luke 14:7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, (KJV)
And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden . . . at the dinner at the Pharisee's house, particularly to the lawyers, or Scribes and Pharisees.
When he marked how they chose out the chief rooms . . . they always insisted on the best possible places at the table, which these men loved, coveted and sought after. (Mat.23:6).
Saying unto them . . . as follows.
Jesus Commands Humility!
Luke 14:8 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; (KJV)
When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding . . . to a wedding dinner, or any other feast. The present entertainment was not a marriage feast, but a common Sabbath meal; for they might not marry on the Sabbath day. (Jn.2:1).
Sit not down in the highest room . . . it is not wise to sit in the chief place at table, as soon as you come in.
Lest a more honourable man . . . to age, office, dignity, wisdom, learning or riches come in.
Than thou be bidden of him . . . the master of the feast; and who may not yet have arrived, and for whom the chief place may be intended.
Luke 14:9 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. (KJV)
And he that bade thee and him . . . to the feast, and who is the master of it, has a right to order his guests at his table, as he thinks fit.
Come and say to thee, give this man place . . . rise up, and give this honorable man this seat, go and take another.
And thou begin with shame to take the lowest room . . . this would certainly fill a man with shame and confusion . . . because of his pride and vanity, in moving to the uppermost room, he will be publicly exposed; and he who before sat in the chief place, will have the humiliation, before all the guests, to be seated in the lowest place.
Luke 14:10 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. (KJV)
But when thou art bidden . . . when you are invited anywhere,
Go and sit down in the lowest room . . . seat yourself at the lower end of the table, or in the most inferior seat. This will show humility and modesty of mind, and prevent shame and embarrassment. Since there can be no putting you into a lower place, and if there is any advance to an higher, you may be called.
That when he that bade thee cometh . . . when your host comes into the dining room, and sees where you are,
He may say unto thee, friend, go up higher . . . to a more honorable seat at table, pointing to it, and saying, there is such a seat empty, go up and take it, it suits you better.
Then shalt thou have worship . . . glory, honor and respect, instead of shame and embarrassment, and not only from the master of the feast,
But in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee . . . and from them, who will take notice of the honor done thee, and will have a high opinion of thee, and praise thee for your humility and modesty. Advice like this is given by Solomon (Pro.25:6-7).
When you are invited to dinner, always take the lowest seat. You will not have any trouble getting it because no one else will want it. Then, should the host come in and see where you are sitting, he might say, 'You are to be my guest of honor. Please sit in the seat of honor.' Then someone else will have to move." This is good manners and what is right to do.
Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (KJV)
For whosoever exalteth himself . . . anyone who is proud and arrogant, and thinks they are better that the one next to them shall in one way or another, be abased, humbled and humiliated one day.
And he that humbleth himself . . . behaves in an humble and modest manner, shall be exalted. (Mat.23:12).
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (KJV) . . . Please read this TRUTH carefully. Wonderful Passage!
Proverbs 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. (KJV) . . . The Lord Jesus does NOT want us to be proud and arrogant, nor does He want us to scorn, ridicule, have contempt or disrespect for the common people. For more verses on the Fear of the Lord, that we should also consider: Fear (reverence) of the Lord: (Ps.19:9; 25:14; 27:1; 33:18; Pro.8:13; 9:10; 14:27; 15:6; 19;23; 22:4; Jer.5:22; Hos.3:5).
Any fellow Christians, preachers or teachers, who hold too high an opinion of them self, by boasting of their gifts, as better than others, and by arrogantly and/or eagerly coveting titles of honor among men, or by demanding honor that does not belong to them, or abusing what he has: "shall be abased." These shall lose any honor they have, and come far short of what they wanted, and they shall fall into disgrace with men, and are utterly abominable in the eyes of God. BUT . . . "he that shall humble himself"; by holding low thoughts, and a meek opinion of them self, who behave humbly among men; not being overjoyed with his gifts, but fully acknowledge that all they have comes only from the grace and goodness of God; and use them for the advantage of others; NEVER coveting honor from men, NEVER being a show-off with what is bestowed on him: "shall be exalted" . . . by God, or men, or both . . . if not in this world, then in the world to come. This type of language goes strictly against the grain of those in the world! But, according to Almighty God, such modest, humble, persons are the most esteemed among men; and God gives more grace to them, and will one day give them glory. This is a saying, often used by our Lord on different accounts, both with respect to His disciples, for their instruction, and with regard to the scribes and Pharisees, for their humiliation (Lk.14:11; 18:10-14). "Whosoever shall humble himself, Almighty God shall exalt him; and whosoever shall exalt himself, Almighty God shall humble him.'' We all should pay close attention to this!
HOW can we humble ourselves? Some people try to appear humble in order to manipulate others. Others think that humility means putting themselves down. My friend, truly humble people compare themselves ONLY with Jesus. They realize their sinfulness, and they completely understand their limitations, while others recognize their God-given gifts and talents and want only to use them as Christ Jesus directs. Humility is NOT self-degradation; it is true self-assessment and a deep willingness to serve.
Luke 14:12 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. (KJV)
Then said he also to him that bad him . . . just as Jesus had given advice to the guests, so too did He think fit to give advice to the master of the house, that had given both Himself and them an invitation to the present meal; seeing that his guests consisted only of such persons as are as follows:
When thou makest a dinner, or a supper . . . any meals for other persons, no matter what time of the day, at noon, or at night, on Sabbath days, or others,
Call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours . . . Jesus rebuked the host: "Do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors." From this, we might think that no one should ever entertain or feed their friends or relatives, nor share their table with someone considered as "rich neighbors." This would come in conflict with other teachings of Jesus that we know require that we give care and hospitality toward others, without discrimination (Rom. 12:20; Heb. 13:2; 1 Pet. 2:17). We must remember that Jesus sees the motives of both host and guests! His teaching comes from this scene! It seems that the host invited guests to this feast with selfish expectation of his own future social advantage. That is really the meaning of the phrase, "lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid."
I believe Jesus spoke this saying to an audience who needed to be admonished about their motives (both in hosting and attending a feast). The guests were guilty of choosing the best places to exalt themselves (read vss. 7-11). The host was guilty of inviting people, with selfish expectation of his own future social advantage. He invited people expecting future favor (a recompense).
Lest they also bid thee again . . . and thee only, and not the poor, to such a grand entertainment, which is VERY commonly done.
And a recompense be made thee . . . so as not to feel themselves bound to treat you with the same kindness, and, in so doing, neither you nor they will show any kind spirit, or any disposition to do good beyond what is repaid. A recompense, one feasting session for another, so that there will be no obligation on either side. That will be all the only advantage to be gained; the return is made here, but there shall be no reward hereafter.
Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: (KJV)
But when thou makest a feast . . . an entertainment for others, a dinner, or a supper,
Call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind . . . meaning the poor maimed, the poor lame, and the poor blind . . . those who are in indigent circumstances, that stand in need of a meal, and to whom it is most welcome.
To stress the lesson this host needed to learn, Jesus stating the complete opposite; the greater motive: When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for then you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
Jesus is NOT forbidding us to feed or entertain our relatives, friends or neighbors; nor is He recommending social/economic discrimination. He is simply stating the case against the practice of hospitality which finds its purpose in expecting a personal favor in return . . . hoping your guests will return the favor.
Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. (KJV)
And thou shalt be blessed . . . by God with spiritual blessings, and with eternal glory and happiness and peace. God takes care of His own. My friend, spiritual blessings are SO much better that worldly wealth!
For they cannot recompense thee . . . most of the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind . . . will not be able to return the favor, by inviting again to a like meal, as rich guests can do, and when they have done that, there is nothing else to be expected . . . BUT . . . those who entertain the poor, have no return from them, but my dear friend, a recompense (repayment) shall be made by the Lord Jesus Himself, on their behalf!
For thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just . . . when the just shall rise again, which will be the first resurrection; and happy is he that has part in it: for the righteous, or dead in Christ will rise first; and notice will be taken of the good works of the saints, particularly of their acts of beneficence to the poor members of Christ; and which they have done in faith, from a principle of love to Christ, and with a view to the glory of God, and the good of their fellow creatures and Christians. See: (Pro.19:17; Dan.12:2-3; Mat.6:4; 10:41-42; 25:34-40; Lk.20:35-36; Jn.5:29; Acts 24:15).
May this be a lesson to us! To seek the best places; to exalt ourselves; to offer hospitality and blessing to others, only with the motive and hope of our own social or financial gain, totally misses the purity of the kindness of the Lord Jesus. ALL our good works should be motivated by the greater, eternal reward that awaits God’s TRUE children. There is recompense far higher than the earthly benefits of throwing a party for our own temporal advantage. BEWARE! Jesus commands compassion and humility! Rewards: (Mat.10:42; 16:27; Mk.9:41; Lk.6:23,35; 1 Cor.3:8,14; Col.3:24; Heb.10:34; 11:26; Rev.22:12)
Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-27)
Can you imagine how tense it was at that dinner? It started with our Lord healing the man with dropsy . . . in the face of their disapproval. Then He looked the guests straight in the eyes and rebuked their manners. Then He rebuked the host. The atmosphere was extremely tense. No one was talking.
Luke 14:15 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. (KJV)
And when one of them that sat at meat with him . . . one of the Scribes, lawyers, or Pharisees, that were guests at this feast.
Heard these things . . . which were spoken by Christ, and was affected by them.
He said unto him, blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God . . . the Kingdom of God here means the Kingdom which the Messiah was to set up (Mat.3:2). The Jews thought that He would be a temporal Prince, and that His reign would be one of great grandeur and splendor. They thought that the Jews then would be delivered from all their oppressions, and that, from being a degraded people, they would become the most distinguished and happy nation of the Earth, and it was to that period they looked forward to. Having mentioned the resurrection of the just, this man understood it in the common way of the Jews, and spoke of the happiness which they expected at that time. The man thought that the Jews only, would partake of those blessings. Those ideas Jesus corrects in the parable which follows.
Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: (KJV)
Then said he unto him . . . then Jesus said to the man,
A certain man made a great supper . . . this does not mean the Lord's Supper (Communion), which was not as yet instituted; nor is this the Supper of the Lamb (Rev.19:9), which will be at the end of the world. I think this means the Gospel dispensation, which was now taking place. A great supper . . . or great feast. It is called great because of the number who were invited.
And bade many . . . the first bidding (calling) refers to the Jews, who are said to be "many", because of the Promise made to Abraham, that His seed should be as the stars of heaven. Bade many . . . invited many beforehand. There is very little difficulty in understanding this parable. The Man who made the supper is, without any doubt, means God; the Supper is the provisions which God has made for the salvation of men; and the invitation is the offer which He made to men, particularly to the Jews, of salvation. See a similar parable: (Mat.221-13). As the stars of Heaven: (Gen.26:4; Ex.32:13; Deut.1:10; 10:22; 28:62; Neh.9:23)
Luke 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. (KJV)
And sent his servant at supper time, to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready . . . either John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, who declared that the Kingdom of Heaven, (the Gospel dispensation), was at hand; and urged the people to believe in Christ Jesus, who would come after him . . . OR this could mean Christ Himself, who is God's Servant as Man, of His choosing and appointing, and whom He sent in the fullness of time in the form of a servant, as the minister of the circumcision, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and to call sinners to repentance. Or servant may be servants, since in (Mat.22:3-4), mention is made of more, and this may mean the apostles of Christ, who were the servants of the most high God, and the ministers of Christ, who were first sent by Him to preach the Gospel to the Jews, and to them only for a while.
Sent his servant . . . an invitation had been sent before, but this servant was sent at the time that the supper was ready. From this it would seem that it was the custom to announce to those invited just the time when the feast was prepared. For all things are now ready . . . for you: righteousness, pardon of sin, peace and reconciliation. Sin was put away by the Sacrifice of Christ, redemption obtained, and eternal life and salvation secured; revealing the perfection of the present dispensation, and the enormous provisions of the Gospel . . . to which NOTHING is or can be added! (Isa.55:1-2).
Luke 14:18 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. (KJV)
And they all with one consent began to make excuse . . . as soon as they were called, they began to making excuses, and they all agreed, as by common consent, to excuse themselves from coming.
The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, or a field, and I must needs go and see it . . . I have bought a piece of ground. Luke does not tell us why he had purchased it, but he had it, and his excuse was: I must needs go . . . I have to go and see it. This is not an excuse, it is an alibi which is nothing but a lie! No one who was invited said, "I will not come to the dinner." They simply made excuses to cover up the fact that they did not want to come. This first man to give an excuse was either a liar or a fool or both! A person does NOT buy property without first looking at it!
What can we learn from this? Sinners sometimes plead that they have a good reason to neglect the affairs of religion. The affairs of the world are so pressing that they cannot find time to feed their souls. They have no time to pray, or read the Bible, or worship God. That is why so many lose their souls. God cannot and will not accept such flimsy excuses for neglecting Jesus! He commands us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Mat.6:3), nor can He or will He approve any excuse that men may make for not doing this!
I pray thee have me excused . . . from coming to the supper: these were the principal men among the Jews, the Pharisees and rulers among the people; who were rich and covetous, worldly men; seeking their own worldly advantage more than their spiritual and eternal welfare, or the interest of God and religion.
Luke 14:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. (KJV)
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen . . . to plow the field with,
And I go to prove them . . . this was near evening, and was not a suitable time to go into the field with oxen to try them, how they work in the field; morning would have been a much more proper time.
I pray thee have me excused . . . to the master of the feast: this man also represents the carnal and worldly Jews, who preferred temporal things before spiritual. There are many today, but not only Jews! Multitudes of Gentiles too!
The first man let possessions keep him away. The second man let business keep him away. Again I have to say of this second man that he is either a liar or a fool. This man was making excuses. "I must make a living," is a phrase often used. People are so busy with their business they have no time for God. My friend, one day God is going to call your soul away, and you are going to die, and after you are gone, business will go on as usual without you. BEWARE! Once you are dead, you have NO more chances to believe God and accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord! Change roads today! Jesus is knocking at your heart’s door (Rev.3:20), open it and let Him in and Heaven will be yours! You do NOT need to go to Hell.
Luke 14:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (KJV)
And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come . . . his deception might be that he had his own marriage feast, and friends to attend, nor could he leave his wife. This man is much more rude than the others. He does not so much desire to be excused, but represents those who are fond of their sensual lusts and pleasures, and are determined to indulge in them, and will not be taken away from them by any means whatever.
Three forms of worldly obstruction stand in the way of the Gospel are worldly business, worldly wealth and worldly pleasure. Satan offers so much that so many people simply cannot turn their back on.
Luke 14:21 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. (KJV)
So that servant came and showed his Lord these things . . . the excuses which those that were bidden to the supper made. So too, do the ministers of the Gospel come to God and Christ, and give an account of the little success of their ministry, which is often with grief, and not with joy.
Then the master of the house being angry . . . as He should be, at their ingratitude to Him, their being discourteous of His kindness, and the disrespect they poured upon His entertainment. Christ Jesus resented the impenitence and unbelief of the Jews, who were favored with His ministry and miracles. He looked upon them with anger, and was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts; and threatened them with a much worse punishment, more aggravated condemnation, and more intolerable torments, than other men.
And said to his servants . . . the apostles, when their commission was enlarged to preach to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city . . . to the Jews, who lived under a civil government, under the Law of Moses. The poorer of them did not know the law as the Scribes and Pharisees did, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves. These Jews were compared to persons in the streets and lanes of the city, and it may also mean the Jews that were scattered abroad in other places, and the proselytes to their religion among the Gentiles. The Jews is to whom the Gospel was first preached, and after it was rejected by them at Jerusalem and in Judea, it was then taken to the Gentiles. (Mat.13:1).
And bring in hither the poor . . . not literally, but in a spiritual sense; meaning those who have no spiritual food to eat (Isa.55:1-2), except the husks of carnal lusts and sins. Neither did they have any spiritual clothing, no righteousness of their own, just what could be rightly called filthy rags (Isa.64:6). Neither did they have money to buy either, but are in debt, owing ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay (Mat.18:24).
And the maimed . . . who are weakened and exhausted by sin; and are so weak and without strength, that they cannot keep the law of God; cannot atone for sin; cannot redeem themselves, cannot break the shackles of sin, Satan and the law. They cannot do anything that is spiritually good.
And the halt . . . this is sometimes the character of persons that are uncertain about matters in religion, and do not know which road to take. They falter and fail, and too of those who are incapable of walking in a spiritual sense; as walking the narrow road with Jesus.
The blind . . . who are so, as to any saving knowledge of God in Christ. They are utterly blind to Jesus and the way of righteousness, eternal life and salvation by Him. They are also blind to the spiritual plague of their own hearts, and their exceeding sinfulness. They are blind to their need of a Saviour; blind to the work of the Spirit of God in their souls, and the necessity of it. They are blind to the Truths of the Gospel. These people represent natural and unconverted men, and the most immoral and vile of them.
Luke 14:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. (KJV)
And the servant said . . . after he had brought in a large number of such as are before described, and as he was directed to, and succeeded to the gathering of them in,
Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded . . . the apostles followed exactly the orders of their Lord and Master. They began to preach the Gospel at Jerusalem; and being driven from there, they went and preached to the Jews of the dispersion, and to the proselytes among the Gentiles.
And yet there is room . . . that is, room for the Gentiles, after God's elect. There was room provided for them in the heart and love of God from everlasting, and in His amazing grace; in the security of Christ Jesus, in the covenant of His grace. The Gentiles had a place in the redeeming grace of Christ, and in the last commission that He gave to His disciples (Mat.28:19-20; Lk.24:47-48); and there was now room for them in the church of God; and there will be in the New Jerusalem, and in the heavenly glory.
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. (KJV)
And the Lord said unto the servant . . . a second time; since the Jews put away the Word of eternal life from them, and judged themselves unworthy of it by their denying and blaspheming it, He commanded His apostles to turn from them to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:45-47).
Go out into the highways and hedges . . . a hedge is the enclosure around a field or vineyard. It was commonly made of thorns, which were planted thick, and which kept the cattle out of the vineyard. A common plant for this purpose is the prickly pear, a kind of cactus, which grows several feet high, and is armed with sharp prickles.
And compel them to come in . . . compel them meaning to urge them, press them earnestly. Do not listen to their excuses because of their poverty and low rank of life, but urge them so they overcome their objections and lead them to the feast. This expresses the earnestness of God! His concern that His table would be filled, and His purpose not to reject any because of their poverty, ignorance or want of apparel. Almighty God is sincere in regard to the most polluted and vile. He commands His servants, His ministers, to urge them to come, to impress upon them the salvation of the Gospel, and to use ALL the means in their power to bring into Heaven poor and needy sinners.
That my house may be filled . . . God’s “house” is Heaven! He wants it filled with people, with such as shall be saved, with believing Jews, and with the fullness of the Gentiles (Rom.11:25).
Luke 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. (KJV)
For I say unto you . . . these words mean He most solemnly affirms it, nothing is more certain, or nothing will be found more true.
That none of those men that were bidden . . . the unrepentant and unbelieving Jews, the Scribes and Pharisees, and in reality, the biggest part of the nation; who first had the Gospel brought to them, who are the many that were called (Mat.22:14), though few were chosen, and therefore they did not come, nor . . .
Shall taste of my supper . . . they did not have so much as a trivial knowledge of the Gospel, of the Truths, the Blessings, the Promises and ordinances of it; for they were given up to judicial blindness and hardness of heart. And it is so sad, for from whom, in a short time, the Gospel was completely taken away, and is still not yet afforded to them as a body, nor will it be until the latter day (Rev.7), when the vail shall be taken away (2 Cor.3:14-16), and they shall turn to the Lord, and all Israel shall be saved (Rom.11:26); but as for the first disbelievers and rejecters of Christ among the Jews, they died in their sins, and perished eternally.
The servant told his master what had happened. His master was angry. The guests that he had invited had insulted him. But he would not allow those excuses to spoil his supper. If the original guests would not come, he would invite other guests. He sent his servant to the poorer parts of the town. He told him to bring in the poor and ailing people from there. He included those people who were sick or blind. And he included those people who could not walk. NO person is beyond the reach of God. The Good News of Jesus is for ALL people. God will receive any and all who come to Him. But when people refuse God’s invitation, that invitation may not remain open to them. BEWARE!
This parable represents the provisions of divine mercy, under the figure of the feast long prepared, and now at last, complete. "Everything is now ready" (Lk.14:17), mercy to pardon, grace to purify and power to keep. The invitations are sent out, and they are issued on a scale of almost boundless generosity.
Luke 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (KJV)
And there went great multitudes with him . . . from Galilee, as He journeyed from there to Jerusalem; a multitude followed Him, some for one thing, and some another, and maybe all of them expecting Him to set up a temporal kingdom and hoped they would share some of the worldly advantages of it, because all Israel had carnal notions of the Messiah. Jesus therefore, to draw their minds away from such views, and that they might not be disappointed, tells them, that if they wanted be His disciples, they must part with all that was near and dear to them; and prepare to suffer great hardships and difficulties for His Name's sake.
And he turned, and said unto them . . . He said to them with a grave and stern expression, and in a most solemn manner delivered the following words to them.
Luke 14:26 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. (KJV)
If any man come to me . . . not in a physical, but in a spiritual way; nor just to hear Him preach; but to come to Him, in that he believes in Him, applies to Him for grace, pardon, righteousness, eternal life and salvation; profess to be His, and possess Him in the heart, submits willingly to His ordinances, and desires to be a disciple of His.
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 . . . hate here means to love less. So, we must love Jesus MORE than anyone else! Hatred of any or all of these, is NOT commanded by Christ; for this would oppose the laws of God, but NONE of these people are to be preferred above Christ Jesus, or loved more than He. (Mat.10:37).
Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (KJV)
Whosoever doth not bear his cross . . . when persons were condemned to be crucified, a part of the sentence was that they carry the cross on which they were to die, to the place of execution. And this is what Jesus did. He carried His cross, until He fainted from fatigue and exhaustion (Mat.27:31-32). The cross was a device of death. To carry it was difficult and shameful, and was an addition to the punishment. So, to carry the cross is a symbolic expression, meaning that we must endure whatever is burdensome, trying or disgraceful in following Christ. It means to do our duty, let the world think or speak as they may. This every follower of Jesus is required to do.
And come after me . . . bearing his cross; as Christ himself was about to do, and which He no doubt had in mind.
Cannot be my disciple . . . he is not so in reality, nor does he deserve the name “Christian.”
The apostles (and us) were/are to be led by Jesus’ example, to preach or profess the Gospel, to submit to the ordinances of it, and cheerfully and willingly suffer for the sake of it. If anyone is not willing to do this, but avoids it, goes along with his friends, conforms to the world, and turns his back on Christ; to these, He may very well say . . . Is not worthy of me . . . these are not fit to be counted as His disciples and followers. (Mat.10:38).
These verses are simply saying that we must put God first, or we are NOT worthy of Him. A TRUE believer who is devoted to Christ Jesus should be someone that, by comparison, looks as if everything else is hated.
Parable about Building a Tower (Luke 14:28-30)
Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (KJV)
For which of you intending to build a tower . . . intending to build a tower (Mat.21:33). A tower was a place of defense or observation, built on high places or in vineyards, to guard against enemies. It was made high, so as to enable one to see an enemy when he came near; and strong, so that it could not be easily taken.
Sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? . . . as every wise man would, who has any thoughts of building a tower, or any other building: and so too, those that intend to take up a profession of faith, should sit down and consider well , what it means and what it will cost them.
What will be expected? . . . #1. You shall be called to self-denial; #2. You must expect to suffer the loss of the approval of carnal relations and friends; #3. You shall be exposed to the scorn and rage of the world; #4. You must take up YOUR cross, and bear it, with great grace and strength that are necessary to all this.
When you profess Christ Jesus and His Gospel, it is like building a tower, which must be laid on a good foundation; NOT on carnal descent and parentage; NOT on a sober and religious education; NOT on a civil, moral lifestyle; NOT on a bare knowledge of Gospel Truths and a one-time flash of affection for them and the people of God; but upon Christ Jesus the sure foundation, and on doctrines of grace formed by His Spirit in our hearts. We must build on JESUS!
1 Cor. 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (KJV)
Luke 14:29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (KJV)
Lest haply after he hath laid the foundation . . . has begun to build, has taken up a profession, has submitted to ordinances,
And is not able to finish it . . . a foundation may be laid, and the building may never be finished, because the foundation is not laid right, there is a beginning, and which at first looks good, but the work is dropped and left unfinished.
All that behold it, begin to mock . . . as follows;
Luke 14:30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (KJV)
Saying, this man began to build . . . he set out with good intentions, and made a considerable stir, as if he would get things right.
And was not able to finish . . . it was all noise, nothing else. Falling away from a profession of faith, exposes men to contempt and scorn; not only cast out of churches with disgrace, but are despised by wicked men; and are a reproach and an insult in all places; and even are mocked by devils.
Many people today are building on the WRONG foundations! They build on foundations of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble . . . they do NOT build on JESUS! Those buildings shall be like the one built on straw, that the wolf blew down in the story of the three little pigs. He huffed and puffed and blew it down.
When a builder does not count the cost accurately, the building may be left undone. Will you abandon the Christian life after a little while because you did not count the cost of commitment to Jesus? Are there really costs? Christians may face loss of social status or wealth. They may have to give up control of their money, their time, or their career. They may be hated, separated from their family, and even put to death as were many in the past. Following Jesus does NOT mean a trouble-free life. We must carefully count the cost of becoming Christ's disciples so that we will boldly and firmly hold to our faith and shall NOT be tempted later to turn back.
The sin of backsliding and apostasy is everywhere! http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_an_apostate_world.1.htm
Parable of A King Going to War (Luke 14:31-33)
Luke 14:31 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? (KJV)
Or what king going to make war against another king . . . if a king intends to go to war against another king, he would first sit down and really think about the situation.
Sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? . . . He would decide whether or not his army of 10,000 soldiers could beat the other army of 20,000 soldiers. If he knew that this would not be possible, he would send a delegation of ambassadors to the other king to strive for peace, doing so while the superior force was still far away.
Such is the difference between the Christian and the devil; the one is flesh and blood, the other a spirit; the one is raw and undisciplined, the other a veteran soldier; the one a youngster and the other the strong man armed. Their numbers are unequal; the people of Christ are few, and their force and strength in themselves small; and they have a large number against them: devils, men of the world, and the lusts of their own hearts. Because of this, it is necessary to sit down and consult, NOT with just anyone, but with other TRUE Christians, and above all, with God Himself.
Luke 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (KJV)
Or else, while the other is a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace . . . an ambassage is a group of people sent to the enemy to propose terms of peace.
The general lesson to be learned from this parable is:
#1. Every man who becomes a follower of Jesus should calmly and deliberately consider all the consequences of such an act and be prepared to meet them.
#2. Men in other things act with prudence and forethought. They do not begin to build without a reasonable prospect of being able to finish. They do not go to war when there is every prospect that they will be defeated.
#3. TRUE faith in Jesus is a work of seriousness, of thought, of a calm and fixed purpose, and NO one can properly enter into it who does not firmly decide by the grace of God to fulfil all its requirements and make it the business of his life.
#4. We are to expect difficulties to arise. We shall be expected to bear our cross.
#5. We must give up all our sins, including our most be-loved ones.
#6. It will cost us a life of self-denial, and there will be a continual conflict with our lusts, and the hostility and ridicule of the world. It may cost us our liberties and all that is dear to us, and possibly even our lives.
#7. If we do not knowingly choose to leave all things, to suffer all things that may be laid upon us, and to persevere to the end of our days in the service of Christ, we cannot be His disciples. We must cheerfully undertake all this, and be prepared for it all IF we are to be blessed by God.
Jesus did NOT minimize the great cost that being His disciple involved. It could mean the loss of close family members, possessions, and even one’s own life.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (KJV)
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath . . . let him be ever so sincere to follow Him, who makes a profession of Jesus and of His Gospel, and to become a disciple of His. When called to it, relatives, friends, possessions, estates, etc. must often be forsaken. See: (Lk.14:26).
He cannot be my disciple . . . is not, and CANNOT be one! Is not worthy to be called one.
A person can be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour, but a person will never follow and serve Him until he is willing to make a sacrifice. That is what this passage is teaching. There is a difference between being a believer in Jesus, and being a disciple of Jesus. Sad to say, not all believers are disciples.
Parable about Salt That Loses Its Tang (Luke 14:34-35)
Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? (KJV)
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? . . . salt is good. God’s people are “salt” to the world. Some translate “savour” to tang. Most church members have lost their tang as salt. We should be the salt in the earth and have an influence for good in the world. If we make no effort to affect the world around us, we are of little value to God. If we are too much like the world, and compromise with the world, we are good for nothing, worthless. We must not blend in with everyone else. We should affect others in a good way, just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in food. God’s people in any age and under any condition should be salt in the world. (Mat.5:13).
Luke 14:35 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. (KJV)
It is neither fit for the land . . . for compost, dung of it, when it has lost its savor, for every place where salt is found, it is barren and brings forth nothing.
Nor yet for the dunghill . . . to mix with dung, and help it, that it may be the more serviceable to the earth;
But men cast it out . . . into the streets, as entirely useless, and so are such graceless professors and ministers, are to be cast out of the churches of Christ now, and will be excluded the Kingdom of Heaven hereafter.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear . . . this is another phrase the Lord Jesus used, like “verily”, when He had something serious, and of great importance to say which required their attention, and which was not easily understood, like several things He had mentioned in this context. BUT His words imply, that everyone did NOT have spiritual ears and would NOT understand. He that hath ears: (Mat.11:15; Mk.4:9; Lk.8:8; 14:35) also: (Rev.2:7,17,29; 3:6,13,22).
Hath, has . . . is what you have, blessed by the Lord? Are you comfortable, content and at peace with what you have? If so. . . you are indeed blessed!
The NEED for Consideration and Self-Denial (Luke 14:25-35)
Even though as disciples of Christ, we are not all crucified, we all must still bear our cross. Jesus tells them to count on it, and consider it. The Saviour explains this by two parables: the first one showing that we must consider the cost to us, and the second one that we must consider the hazards of it. We must sit down and count the cost. We must consider it will cost the casting off of our sin, even our most beloved lusts.
The most proud and most daring sinner CANNOT stand up against God, for who knows the power of His anger? It is in our own interest for us to seek peace with Him, and we do NOT need send to ask conditions of peace, for they are clearly offered to us, and are highly to our advantage. In some way, at some time, a disciple of Christ shall be put to the test. May we sincerely seek to be His disciples, and be careful not to grow slack in our profession, or be afraid of our cross; and that we may be the good salt of the earth, to season those around us with the savor (flavor) of Christ.
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . .ch.19. . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24