Outline of the Book:
I. Preface: The Method and Purpose of Writing, Luke 1:1-4.
II. The Identification of the Son of Man with Men, Luke 1:5-4:13.
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.
IV. The Repudiation of the Son of Man by Men, Luke 9:51-19:27.
A. Rejection by Samaritans, Luke 9:51-56.
B. Rejection by Worldly Men, Luke 9:57-62.
C. Commissioning of the Seventy, Luke 10:1-24.
D. Rejection by a Lawyer, (Parable of the Good Samaritan), Luke 10:25-37.
E. Reception at Bethany, (Martha’s protest), Luke 10:38-42.
F. Instruction on Prayer, Luke 11:1-13.
1. The Lord’s Prayer Template, vs. 1-4.
2. Instruction for Persistence in your Requests to God, vs. 4-13.
G. Rejection by the Nation, Luke 11:14-36.
1. The Divided Kingdom, vs 14-26.
2. Observers of the Word are the Blessed Ones, vs. 27-28.
3. Prophecy of Judgment against the Nation, vs. 29-36.
a. Jonah a sign of Jesus as the Messiah, vs. 29-30.
b. Various Judges against that Generation in the Judgment, vs. 31-32.
c. The Lamp Analogy; Encouragement to Believe, vs. 33-36.
H. Rejection by Pharisees and Lawyers, Luke 11:37-54.
1. Rebuke of the Pharisees’ Unbelief, vs. 37-44.
2. Rebuke of the Lawyers’ Unbelief, vs. 45-52.
3. The Plotted Revenge of the Pharisees and Lawyers, vs. 53-54.
I. Instruction in the Light of Rejection, Luke 12:1-19:27.
1. Concerning hypocrisy, Luke 12:1-12.
2. Concerning covetousness, Luke 12:13-34.
3. Concerning faithfulness, Luke 12:35-48.
4. Concerning division and signs, Luke 12:49-59.
a. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will have a dividing nature on family members, vs. 49-53.
b. A rebuke of those who cannot discern the time of the First Advent of the Christ, vs. 54-56.
c. A final warning of condemnation against those who reject the Savior, vs. 57-59.
5. Concerning repentance, Luke 13:1-9.
a. Two historical object lessons of discipline in comparison, vs. 1-5.
b. The parable of a fig tree that did not produce fruit, vs. 6-9.
6. Concerning hypocrisy, Luke 13:10-17.
a. Mocked for healing a woman on the Sabbath, vs. 10-17.
7. Concerning the kingdom, Luke 13:18-35.
a. Two object lessons to describe the Kingdom of God, vs. 18-21.
b. Enter through the narrow gate or be rejected, vs. 22-30.
c. Lamenting over Jerusalem for her rejection of the Messiah, vs. 31-35.
8. Concerning inflexible people; healing on the Sabbath, Luke 14:1-6.
9. Concerning inflated people; humble yourselves and be exalted, Luke 14:7-11.
10. Concerning invited people; do not invite with expectations of repayment, Luke 14:12-14.
11. Concerning indifferent people; rejection of Jesus’ invitation means exclusion from His Kingdom, Luke 14:15-24.
12. Concerning incompetent people; be ready to give up everything for Christ, Luke 14:25-35.
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8. Concerning Inflexible People; Healing on the Sabbath,Luke 14:1-6.
Jesus entered the house of “a leading Pharisee,” ARCHON PHARISAIOS, (a member of the Sanhedrin), to participate in a meal, (ARTOS, bread or food) on the Sabbath. The Pharisee evidently invited Jesus to share in the Sabbath meal. This meal would have been prepared on Friday and was probably eaten after worship in the synagogue on Saturday. So, Jesus dined even with those who were antagonistic towards Him. His Spiritual Self-Esteem guided Him to witness, even to them.
It is interesting how eating a meal together breaks down barriers that are otherwise present. It is probably because it demonstrates that we are all human and all have the same basic weaknesses and needs. Mealtime tends to put aside the cares, worries, and details of life so that we can nurture our bodies. When we share in this process, it creates a more intimate relationship with each other.
As we see here, this meal is one that occurs on the Sabbath, and becomes another healing Jesus performed on the Sabbath, as we noted in Luke 13:10-17.
Later, in vs. 15, Jesus will respond to an exclamation about those who will “eat bread,” dine, in the Kingdom of Heaven. And as we know, in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must eat the bread of life, which is Jesus Christ that means you do not literally eat His body and drink His blood, but you believe upon Him as your Savior, John 6.
As Jesus dined with them, “they were watching Him closely,” AUTOS EIMI PARATEREO AUTOS.
PARATEREO, παρατηρέω in the Present, Middle, Participle, Nominative means, “lie in wait for, observe carefully, or watch closely.” Luke used this word previously in Luke 6:7, for another occasion when the Scribes and Pharisees were watching Jesus to see if He would make any mistakes, Mark 3:2; Luke 20:20; cf. Acts 9:245; Gal 4:10.
Luke 6:7, “The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.”
Luke 20:20, “So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor.”
This should have been a pleasant afternoon of dining, with fellowship and relaxation in God’s gift of the Sabbath. Yet, because of the sinister undercurrent created by the religious leaders it took another turn because the Pharisees and Scribes were watching or observing Him closely, lying in wait, to see if they could find an opportunity to accuse Him of some wrong doing. As such, the host and his guests wanted to catch Jesus in a violation of the Sabbath law. The Sabbath observance seems to be the one area where the enemies of Jesus felt He was most vulnerable to a charge of breaking the Law, as they accused Him and His disciples of breaking it several times. Either that or they felt like they were on stronger ground in applying this part of the Law than other parts in regard to Jesus’ activities. But as we will see, they were not on solid ground at all.
Therefore, they were not conversing with Him objectively, with an open mind. They had already accused and condemned Him in their minds. Because of that they could not receive the message of salvation He was delivering to them.
Luke 14:2, “And there in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy.”
At this dinner, a man with “dropsy,” was present. “Dropsy,” is the Adjective, HUDROPIKOS, ὑδρωπικός that is only used here in the NT, and means, “dropsy or suffering from dropsy,” which is the old-fashioned or less technical term for edema. Edema is a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body. It is an abnormal accumulation of serous fluids in connective tissues or cavities of the body accompanied by swelling, distension, or defective circulation; usually symptomatic of more serious problems. The condition frequently causes the feet, ankles, and legs to appear puffy and larger than normal, which can seriously affect major organs. It can be a painful and potentially deadly disease. This is the only recorded incident in which Jesus healed a man with this condition.
Luke 14:3, “And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?””
First, we see that Jesus “answered,” APOKRINO, a question that is not mentioned. He either read their thoughts or it just went unrecorded.
Here, we have “lawyers and Pharisees,” combined, NOMIKOS PHARISAIOS. As we noted previously, the lawyers are also known as “Scribes.” They were the experts of the Law and interpreted it for the Pharisees and the people when there were questions. Jesus knowing this asked a question regarding the Law.
On several occasions, as here, Jesus asked the Scribes and Pharisees a preemptive strike question, “Is it lawful (EXESTIN) to heal (THERAPEUO) on the Sabbath (SABBATON), or not (E OUK)?,” Mat 12:10-12; Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9. Jesus’ question put the lawyers and Pharisees on the defensive. The Law did not forbid healing on the Sabbath. It was their traditions that did and not the writings of Moses that forbade such activities. If the Law had opposed healing on the Sabbath, these legalists would have known it and said so.
Also, in a miss application of the Law, the Pharisees condemned a man Jesus healed on the Sabbath and for carrying the bed he used to be carried on as a cripple on the Sabbath. Remember back in Luke 6, cf. Mat 12:8; Mark 2:28, Jesus stated that He was the “Lord of the Sabbath,” and that the Sabbath was created for man, and not the other way around. As the “Lord of the Sabbath,” Jesus tested them to see if their traditions were more important than compassion.
Knowing that they were closely inspecting Jesus’ word for any errors, Jesus posed a question that would test their knowledge and more importantly their faith. “If they said, “No, it is not permitted to show compassion on the Sabbath,” they would have to admit that their traditions were more precious than people. If they said, “Yes, it is permitted,” then they would have authorized Jesus to violate their rules! Caught in Jesus’ ethical checkmate, the religious leaders remained silent.” (Swindoll)
Luke 14:4, “But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away.”
“They kept silent,” uses the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the verb HESUCHAZO, ἡσυχάζω that means, “be still, rest, or be silent.” In classical Greek, it generally denotes a termination of speech, conflict, or work; an imposition of silence; or a self-induced calming. It is used here, Luke 23:26; Acts 11:18; 21:14; 1 Thes 4:11.
Here, Jesus puts them in a bind. They could not acknowledge that the Law did not forbid the healing, because if they did it would remove the one thing they had planned to use against Him. Nevertheless, their refusal to answer His question had the same effect. Therefore, if they could not point out the illegality in healing before it was done, they would not be able to do so after the event either. So, interestingly, when Jesus asked them a question about the “day of rest,” they rested their mouths from speaking because they were afraid of whatever response would come out of their mouths.
Noting their cowardly silence, Jesus “took hold,” of the man, EPILAMBANOMAI, ἐπιλαμβάνομαι that means, “take hold of, grasp, catch, be concerned with, take an interest in, or help,” “and healed him,” IAOMAI, ἰάομαι “heal, cure, or restore,” “and sent him away,” APOLUO, ἀπολύω that means, “release, let go, sent away, dismiss, etc.” APOLUO is the antonym of “took hold of him,” and literally means, “released,” but has a wide range of meaning, including “send away,” Luke 8:38, “pardon” Luke 6:37, and even “divorce,” Luke 16:18. Yet, it is no coincidence that Luke used the same term as in Luke 13:12, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” The physician linguistically linked the two healings to make a point.
Jesus compassionately performed the miracle of healing this man from his condition of edema in the presence of the Pharisees and Lawyers / Scribes on the Sabbath day. Yet, that too was not enough for them to see Him for who He truly was; the Messiah / Savior / King. As He stated in previous healings and lessons, it is lawful to release someone of a burden on the Sabbath, as He notes in the next passage. Yet, the greater picture is Jesus releasing us from our sins based on His and the Father’s compassionate work upon the Cross.
Luke 14:5, “And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?””
Jesus used similar replies in Mat 12:11-12; Luke 13:15-16, to show it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath.
In the NASB translation, from the earliest texts, it has a “son,” HUIOS and an “ox,” BOUS. The KJV using later text, like the Byzantine, uses ONOS, “ass,” and BOUS. So, I guess sometimes sons are jack asses. Lol.
The words for “fall,” PIPTO and also means, “sin or go astray,” and “well” PHREAR is also used for the “Bottomless Pit,” in Rev 9:1-2, which is a holding place for imprisoned fallen angels / demons until the Tribulation time period. Therefore, this “falling into a pit,” can be used literally for falling into a hole or pit, or it can be used figuratively for someone who has fallen into the snare of sin and temptation by demonic forces.
In either case, if someone needs physical or spiritual help or assistance no matter what day it is, we should go and help them. But remember, during the Church Age we are no longer under the Law of Moses and are not commanded to keep the Sabbath Day. Nevertheless, if someone or something is in need, we should help them, “immediately pull him out,” EUTHEOS ANASPAO.
Interestingly, ANASPAO, “pull or draw up or out,” is only used here and in Acts 11:10, after Peter received the vision from God indicating that they were no longer under the Law, now that the Church Age had begun. Therefore, we see Jesus, who is the Lord of the Sabbath, Luke 6:5; Mat 12:8; Mark 2:28, performing healing miracles on the Sabbath.
Mat 12:8, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Also, you probably would be inclined to help your son or daughter if they were in a jam, but what about your ox? Well because they are your valued property you most likely would. But, this man with dropsy was neither to Jesus or the Pharisees, yet Jesus still helped this man who was in need. Therefore, do you have compassion for others? Are you ready and willing to help someone in need, even if they are a stranger? Jesus tells us that if we have the Christ-like nature we should be!
But if the answer is no, then like the callous rulers of petty legalism, others in need become nothing more than mere pawns in your pathetic scheme of ensuring your own well-being.
Luke 14:6, “And they could make no reply to this.”
“They could make no reply,” OUK ISCHUO ANTAPOKRINOMAI. It means they did not have the power, strength, resource, or ability to rebut or refute what Jesus had done and said. So, we see that because of the hardness of their hearts, they could not reply.
ANTAPOKRINOMAI means to, “answer back or reply against,” and is only used here and Rom 9:19-24.
Regarding not being able to respond to the Lord’s explanations, we see in Mat 22:46, at the question of David calling his son Lord, they could not reply because they did not see Jesus as God / Messiah / Savior / King, “No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.”
Regarding the question about marriage in heaven that led to the discussion of David calling his son Lord, in Luke 20:40, it states, “For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything.”
- The Lord is not seeking the approval of anyone here. He is not trying to fit in, schmooze, or shape His message so people feel more comfortable. In fact, the Lord is in everyone’s face. As an evangelist, Jesus challenges people in every situation.
- Jesus tries to provoke compassion in all people and to convict them with regard to others who are in need.
- “Jesus performs the miracle right before their eyes, and their hearts do not soften one bit. No one’s mind is changed. No one’s heart is changed. When we pray for evangelism and the work of God, let us not be like those Christians more concerned for miracles than the message itself. To a hard heart, miracles are no more compelling than words. No one is saved simply by witnessing miraculous events, (see 16:30-31). Let us be more concerned that the Lord give our words power. The Lord may send miracles if He wants, but let us not trust in miracles but in the power of the gospel itself.” (Christ-Centered Exposition).
Luke 7:13, “When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep”.”
Luke 10:33, “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion.”
Luke 15:20, “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”
Rom 9:15, “For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION”.”
Phil 2:1, “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion.”
Col 3:12, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
1 John 3:17, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
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9. Concerning Inflated People, Humble Yourselves and Be Exalted,Luke 14:7-11.
Luke 14:7, “And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them.”
In that dinner, after “noticing or observing,” EPECHO, how the “invited guests,” KALEO, “those called, summoned, or invited,” were “picking, choosing, or selecting,” EKLEGOMAI, “their seats or places of honor,” PROTOKLISIA, “chief place or uppermost,” Jesus taught them a lesson through a “parable,” PARBOLE, “parable, comparison, or illustration.”
Interestingly, after noticing that the Pharisees were watching Jesus, Jesus was observing their self-righteous arrogance in the selection of their seats at the dinner party. “Given the rigid rule-keeping of the Pharisees, we can assume they sat according to rank. If so, Jesus observed the men sizing up their peers to determine instinctively who ranked where in the religious pecking order. The jostling pride that filled the room must have been almost comical.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary)
Selecting the best seats or places of honor, PROTOKLISIA, πρωτοκλισία is used here in 14:8 and in 20:46; Mat 23:6; Mark 12:39. In each usage, it is a rebuke of the Pharisees or Scribes who lusted after the best seats or places of honor in the Synagogue or at a banquet. This demonstrated their self-righteous arrogance, which Jesus reprimanded.
“Jesus used the latter as the setting for the lesson He wanted to teach. Jesus saw how self-centered the Pharisee’s dinner guests were, first by their lack of concern and compassion for the man with the dropsy, and second, by their attempts to seek the seats of prestige at the banquet table.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
As Jesus was observing how they were choosing their own seats, He understood that this was only the outward manifestation of their inward pride. These people were invited guests. It was not up to them to decide where they would sit. That was the host’s prerogative.
Luke 14:8, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him”
“Wedding Feast,” is the Noun GAMOS, γάμος that means, “wedding celebration, marriage feast, or marriage nuptials,” that we noted in Luke 12:36. It is only otherwise used in Mat 22:2-12; 25:10; John 2:1-2; Heb 13:4; and Rev 19:7-9.
Next, we have the principle of humility, “do not take the place of honor,” ME KATALINE, “recline at the table,” EIS HO PROTOKLISIA. This principle is to demonstrate humility within our own souls, but is also given so that we avoid embarrassment, if we are asked to move to another seat. This should be done from a true, honest, and humble soul with complete integrity. It is not to be done with the motivation for exaltation.
“For someone, MEPOTE, “lest at anytime,” more distinguished, ENTINOS, “held in honor or highly esteemed,” than you may have been invited, KALEO, by him.”
Luke 14:9, “And he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.”
By being humble we avoid disgrace and shame. Yet, if we pick our own seat of honor, the potential embarrassment is when the host asks us to move our seat, “give your place to this man,” DIDOMI TOPOS HOUTOS, so that another who is more honored can sit there. If that were to occur, “then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.”
“Disgrace” is the Verb AISCHUNE, “shame or disgrace,” that is first used in the NT in this passage. Then, it is used in 2 Cor 4:2; Phil 3:19; Heb 12:2; Jude 1:13; Rev 3:18, that speak of the shame one can experience, typically as a result of sin or evil being in one’s life.
In Heb 12:2, Jesus demonstrated this principle of humility by becoming lowly, taking on the form of humanity, and suffering crucifixion, so that we could be saved. As a result of His humility of the Cross, God the Father highly honored Him by seating Him at His right hand, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This tells us that Jesus is the highly honored one in the Kingdom of God.
Yet, for those who do not humble themselves and instead take the places of honor for themselves, they will be disgraced, embarrassed, and shamed by being placed in the “last place,” as “you proceed to occupy the last place,” KATECHO HO ESCHATOS TOPOS.
In our society, wedding receptions typically have tables that the guests are assigned to. Usually, the tables closest to the Bride and Groom are the honored guest at the wedding, parents and grandparents, and those by the band are less honored, friends, co-workers, other family members, etc. If someone entered the reception and took a seat on their own in one of the honored guest tables, they would be asked to get up and make way for the honored guests and would be shown where their table was over by the band. Because he assumed the false air of an honored guest to those who were sitting around him, to now have the host come and tell him to move to the table by the band, would result in a humiliating loss of face before the others he was trying to impress. This blow to his pride would be devastating to a very egotistical individual.
Luke 14:10, “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.”
Here, we have the principle of humility, where we are commanded to “recline at the last place,” ANAPIPTO ESCHATOS TOPOS.
“Friend,” is the Adjective PHILOS from the Verb PHILEO that means, “friend or loved one,” signifying a close personal relationship.
“Move up higher,” is a hapax legomenon of the Verb PROSANABAINO, προσαναβαίνω in the Aorist, Active, Imperative of command that means, “go up (higher).” It is analogous to being honored or exalted.
If you are asked to move up, then you will be “honored,” DOXA, “in the sight of,” ENOPION, “before, or in the sight or presence of,” “all who are at the table with you,” PAS HO SUNANAKEIMAI, “recline together at the table,” SU. Therefore, it is much better to be exalted by God in the presence of others, than to exalt yourself.
Prov 25:6-7, “Do not claim honor in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; 7For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.”
Jesus is not encouraging wrong motives for sitting in the lower seats. He was not saying that we should be clever and deliberately take the lower position with the hope that in doing so we will be invited to move up to a higher position. If a believer truly has spiritual self-esteem and genuine humility in the first stage of spiritual adulthood, they will not have to force it on others by demonstrating a false sense of humility. Instead, by showing their true humility, others will see to it that they receive whatever honor they are due. The main thing is to live the truly humble life whether your greatness is recognized or not.
Luke 14:11, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Here, we have the application and the main principle of this parable that is also noted in Prov 29:23; 2 Sam 22:28.
Luke records Jesus using this same principle in Luke 18:14, for the parable of the arrogant Pharisee and humble tax collector going to prayer at the temple, and Matthew in Mat 23:12, regarding the arrogance of the Pharisees and Scribes exalting themselves.
Luke 18:14, “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Mat 23:12, “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”
People typically compare their own relative worth to other people. However, God does not judge our worth compared to others based on our deeds and does not use our standards to determine our rank. Instead, God looks at the heart of a man to determine his value in the Kingdom of God. In that standard, humility receives great praise, sacrifice receives great glory, and motive outdoes action. On the other hand, pride and arrogance result in disgrace and dishonor, inside the kingdom of God. That is why 1 John 2:28, tells us some will have shame at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:28, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
“Exalts,” in its first use in this passage, is the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative of the Verb HUPSOO and in the second use is the Future, Passive, Indicative that means, “to exalt or raise high.”
“Humbled,” is first the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb TAPEINOO, and second the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative that means, “make low, humble, or abase.”
In the first use of these words in this passage we see the principle of Prov 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”
Luke previously used the Verb HUPSOO, “exalts” in both a positive and negative sense in Luke 1:52; 14:11, respectfully.
Luke 1:52, “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.”
Luke 10:15, “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!”
Luke will use it again in Luke 18:14, as noted above, in the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector praying at the temple.
James and Peter also presented this principle in, James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6. This tells us that some may become too big for God to use, but no one is ever too small. The Verb “humbled,” TAPEINOO, is also found in Mat 18:4; Phil 2:8, for this same principle. Mat 18:4, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
“The Lord’s summary statement highlights the stark contrast between the kingdom of God and the dominion of evil. In the kingdom of God, bowing low puts the humble on the fast track to the top. And Jesus Himself would become the consummate model of humility, subjecting Himself to the humiliation of the cross for the sake of humanity. He is our King because He lowered himself to become our Servant, Phil 2:5-11.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary)
Phil 2:8, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”
Many times we exalt ourselves, not only by taking a better seat at a dinner party, but by boasting about ourselves to others. As such, we are committing sin.
1 Sam 2:3, “Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed.”
Psa 34:2, “My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice.”
Prov 27:1, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
Jer 9:23-24, “Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” This is quoted by Paul in 1 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor 10:17.
1 Cor 3:21, “So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you.”
2 Cor 11:30, “If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.”
2 Cor 12:5, “On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.”
James 4:16, “But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”
Rom 12:16, “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”
James 1:9, “But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position.”
James 4:6, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble”.” This is from Prov 3:34 and Psa 138:6. Cf. 1 Peter 5:5.
Isa 66:2, ““For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word”.”
Therefore, “The humble person in the kingdom of God understands his/her position. They know they are a child of God and that is honor enough for any person. This knowledge eliminates the oppressive drive to engage in the mad scramble for the little badges of recognition men may provide. Since God is the One who ultimately humbles and exalts, the Christian will humble himself both before God and man.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Those who seek humility understand and find that God exalts them.
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10. Concerning Invited People, Go Not Invite with Expectations of Repayment, Luke 14:12-14.
Luke 14:12, “And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment”.”
Jesus now directly addresses the “leading Pharisee,” who had “invited,” KALEO, Him to the dinner party and whose house the dinner was taking place. With that back drop, Jesus gives a lesson about the appropriate mental attitude to have when hosting and inviting people to a dinner party, which is another lesson about compassion, love, and humility.
“Luncheon,” is the Noun ARISTON that can mean, “breakfast or noon meal.” We noted this word in Luke 11:38, regarding Jesus not “ceremonially” washing His hands before the meal, and it is only otherwise used in Mat 22:4, for the Parable of the Marriage Feast, which is paralleled in our next section, vs. 15-24.
“Dinner,” DEIPNON is used more extensively in Mat 23:6; Mark 6:21; Luke 11:43, and Luke 14:12, 16-17, 24; 20:46; John 12:2; 13:2-4; and 1 Cor 11:20-21, for the Lord’s Supper; and Rev 19:9, for the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, and in vs. 17, for the beginning of Armageddon. Here, it is the evening meal.
“Do not invite,” uses ME and the Present, Active, Imperative of the Verb PHONEO that means, “produce a sound or tone, cry aloud, speak loudly, call, summon, or address.” It is used synonymously with KALEO here, it emphasizes the spoken word.
There are four, (the number of material /earthly things), groups we are commanded not to invite: “Friends,” PHILOS; “Brothers,” ADELPHOS, “brother, fellow Christians, or neighbor;” “Relatives,” SUNGENES; and “Rich neighbors,” PLOUSIOS GEITON.
The first three represent those you already have a close relationship with who are most likely believers, and the fourth “rich neighbor,” speaks strongly to the principle of quid pro quo. In other words, you invite the “rich neighbor,” because you are trying to win over their favor and looking for something in return from them, either materially or emotionally.
That is why Jesus states, “otherwise they may also invite you in return,” which uses the hapax legomenon ANTIKALEO that means, “invite in return.” This is the reciprocation for inviting them to your house, where they invite you to theirs.
If this is your motivation for inviting people to your house, dinner party, etc., where you are looking for something in return, our Lord states, “that will be your repayment,” uses the Noun ANTAPODOMA, ἀνταπόδομα that means, “recompense or repayment.” It is only used here and Rom 11:9, that quotes Psa 69:22.
Rom 11:9, “And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block and a retribution to them”.”
In our passage, even though Jesus will expand this “meal invitation,” to banquets and wedding feasts in vs. 13, here, He is including the everyday meals as times when sincere hospitality may be shown. He emphasized who should be invited and who should be excluded.
“Speaking minister to minister, Jesus challenged the man to use his official station and its attendant privileges for something other than political gain. Just like today, first-century politicians and socialites sought to elevate their standing in the community by hosting social events, strategically inviting the “right people” while snubbing the “wrong people” with equal discretion. By hosting parties and reciprocating invitations, a man could build social alliances and advance his standing.” (Swindoll)
Jesus was not opposed to inviting friends to dinner or banquets, but He did oppose inviting only those who could return the favor. Therefore, when we are hosting a dinner party or the like, we should not invite people with the wrong mental attitude of looking for repayment for our hospitality, but we are to do it out of love, kindness, and genuine graciousness.
Luke 14:13, “But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.”
This is the object lesson: To invite those who cannot repay your generosity when you give a “reception.” It uses the Noun DOCHE that is synonymous with DEIPNON, and means, “reception, banquet, or feast.” It is only used by Luke here and in Luke 5:29, for Levi’s / Matthew’s dinner that he gave in honor of Jesus.
As we had a list of four groups NOT to invite in vs. 12, here we have a list of four groups TO invite, KALEO in the Present, Active, Imperative of command that includes: 1 ) “The Adjective TUPHLOS, τυφλός that denotes the inability to see in both a literal and figurative sense. Here it is the literal sense.
This list is also used in vs. 21, for the Parable of the Dinner or Marriage Feast with lame and blind being reversed.
Even though this list is used in the literal sense, Jesus came to proclaim the Gospel to those in desperate circumstances using the figurative sense in Luke 4:18; as quoted from Isa 61:1, “To preach the gospel to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight to the blind,” and in Luke 7:22, as a sign of who the Christ was for John the Baptist.
Jesus gave this principle specifically for the proud and self-righteous to put into practice. What He advocates for them to do almost defies imagination. There would have to be a complete transformation of spirit, which is what Jesus was looking for.
And the principle for all is, rather than use your resources and assets to further your own position in life, you should use them to benefit those who cannot help themselves.
Luke 14:14, “And you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
If we invite people to a party where we are not looking for reciprocation and inviting those that need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will be “blessed,” MAKARIOS, μακάριος, “blessed, fortunate, or happy,” both in time and eternity. Blessings come to those who demonstrate compassion, mercy, grace, and love.
“Since they do not have the means to repay you,” uses the Verb ANTAPODIDOMI, ἀνταποδίδωμι that means, “repay, reward, give back, or to recompense.” This word is first used here in the NT, which in fact is used twice, then in Rom 11:35; 12:19; 1 Thes 3:9; 2 Thes 1:6; Heb 10:30. It is mostly used for the understanding that God will repay those who afflict you with affliction; therefore, we are to trust in the Lord when evil is done against us, and not take our own vengeance in the situation, as God will repay them, Rom 12:19; 2 Thes 1:6; Heb 10:30.
In our passage, this is creating the issue of genuine humility on those who otherwise would not have it. It creates the issue of inviting people into fellowship with you who are unable to repay you for your graciousness. Just as God enters the believer into fellowship with Him knowing that we could never pay Him back for the forgiveness of our sins and subsequent salvation. It demonstrates the Christ-like nature of complete and total GRACE in our giving.
Acts 20:35, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.”
Just as God has promised to take care of those who are antagonistic towards you, He also is promising to repay you for your graciousness in the eternal state with blessings and rewards, “For you will be repaid, (ANTAPODIDOMI, in the Future, Passive, Indicative), at the resurrection, (ANASTASIS), of the righteous (DIKAIOS).” Cf. 1 Cor 3:10-15; Rev 2-3.
“Of the righteous,” uses the Adjective DIKAIOS, δίκαιος that means, “just, righteous, right, upright, or impartial.” Even though the first two are the meaning here, for those who have been saved by Christ and stand positionally just, righteous, and holy, we cannot lose the last meaning of “impartial,” given the context of this verse. As the other definitions speak to our position in Christ, the last speaks to our actions as believers in Christ with the application of the Christ-like nature. Therefore, we are to be impartial as to who we invite to our dinner parties and are not inviting people only because we can gain something from them.
“At the resurrection,” the noun ANASTASIS, ἀνάστασις is using the general sense of the resurrection of believers, also called the “first resurrection.”
Remember, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection, yet the other wing of the Sanhedrin did not, the Sadducees. So, Jesus was appealing to this man’s faith and belief, yet it would call for him to give up his earthly, worldly, or material things and possessions. Yet, if he did, there would be greater reward in the eternal state for him. Therefore, the question for you and I is, do you hold in higher regard your earthly possessions or God’s eternal promises? Jesus’ request merely calls upon us to live consistently with our beliefs.
Now, as we know from Scripture, the first resurrection is made up of four groups or companies, 1 Cor 15:20-23, 1) Jesus Christ’s resurrection, who is the “first fruits,” 2) The Church Age believers’ resurrection at the Rapture of the Church, 3) The Old Testament and Tribulation Saints resurrection, at the 2nd Advent of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation, and 4) Millennial Saints at the end of the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ. These are all part of the “First Resurrection.”
It is interesting to note that as we had four groups not to invite and four groups to invite, we also have four groups of resurrection to eternal glory as part of the “first resurrection.”
At the time of Jesus’ teaching, they were still part of the Jewish Dispensation, which means they would be part of the resurrection at the end of the Tribulation. Yet, some who were believers would live into the Church Age and therefore would be part of the Rapture / Resurrection of the Church Age believers at the end of the Church Age or Age of Grace.
The Second Resurrection is the resurrection of all unbelievers after the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ, when they are brought before His Great White Throne Judgment Seat, Rev 20:4-6, 11-15, when they are subsequently thrown in the Lake of Fire for all of eternity. That is also called the “Second Death.” Therefore, the first resurrection is for all believers and the second resurrection is for all unbelievers.
John 5:29, “And will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”
Dan 12:2, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”
Mat 25:46, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Acts 24:15, “Having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”
Therefore, when we help the afflicted, we will not only receive the blessing of satisfaction, along with the gratitude and joy of the recipient, but we will also receive eternal blessings and rewards at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, Mat 25:34-35, 40.
Jesus also taught in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure; pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
And remember, 1 Cor 13:3, “And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
Therefore, Mat 6:2-4, “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
We can only imagine what that banquet room full of rich and powerful people was like after Jesus spoke these words, because there were no poor, crippled, lame, or blind people there, because there was no concern for the kingdom there. It probably fell quite silent.
But then the silence was broken as Jesus’ lesson led one at the dinner party to proclaim in vs. 15, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!,” which gave our Lord another opportunity for another lesson on humility that we will note next in vs. 15-22.
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11. Concerning indifferent people; rejection of Jesus’ invitation means exclusion from His Kingdom, Luke 14:15-24.
Luke 14:15, “When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!””
We can only imagine what that banquet room full of rich and powerful people was like after Jesus spoke these words, because there were no poor, crippled, lame, or blind people there, because there was no concern for the kingdom there. It probably fell quite silent. But then the silence was broken as Jesus’ lesson led one at the dinner party to proclaim in vs. 15, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!,” which gave our Lord another opportunity for another lesson on humility that we will note next in vs. 15-22, which is called the Parable of the Dinner.
This man was “reclining at the table,” SUNANAKEIMAI, which we noted in vs. 10, that means, “recline together (at table), or eat with,” which means this man was one of the invited guests and one of the rich and powerful. He proclaimed this after “hearing” AKOUO, our Lord teach these things and witnessing His healing of the man with edema. He proclaimed that “blessed,” MAKARIOS once again, “blessed, fortunate, happy, etc.,” “is everyone who,” which in the Greek is simply HOSTIS, “who, whoever, etc.,” “will eat bread,” is the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative of the Verb ESTHIO/PHAGO with the Noun ARTOS, “in the kingdom of God,” EN HO BASILEIA HO THEOS.
Whether this was a praise of glory towards Jesus and those who believe in Him, or a praise in arrogance, with the sentiment that all present would be eating in the kingdom of God is not known. He was most likely an orthodox Jew or Pharisee who believed in the resurrection and eternal life, unlike the Sadducees. He assumed that because he was Jewish, he would be automatically a part of the great messianic feast that would usher in the kingdom of God. Yet, “even the prophets had warned that selfish, luxury-loving lives and religion devoid of real love, faith, or concern for God’s will would make the Day of the Lord darkness for them instead of light, Amos 5:18-24; 6:1-6.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Therefore, based on Jesus’ response with the following parable, it was most likely a misguided comment in arrogance with assumptive air to it. As we have noted, the Jews believed the Messiah would set up a worldly kingdom and they would join with Him in ruling over all other nations. This assumption led to their sense of both individual and national pride. As such, this parable deals with their pride and their doctrinal error. The error is assumption of or taking for granted entrance based on some other means rather than accepting God’s invitation to salvation.
Luke 14:16, “But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many”.”
Jesus responded with the parable of a man giving a “big dinner,” MEGA DEIPNON, and he “invited many,” POLUS KALEO. This indicates he was a man well off, most likely rich and having a lot of political and/or societal authority and power. This is a similar person to the “leading Pharisees” who was throwing this dinner party that Jesus was attending and who Jesus just addressed in the previous section.
This is analogous to God’s calling / inviting everyone to salvation so that they can enter the Kingdom of God. It is similar to the Wedding Feast Parable of Mat 22:1-14.
Luke 14:17, “And at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now’.”
This man “sent his slave/servant,” APOSTELLO DOULOS, to tell those invited to “come,” the Present, Middle, Imperative of ERCHOMAI, noting that “everything is ready now,” EIMI HETIOMOS EDE.
This is analogous to God’s plan of Salvation where everything necessary for our salvation had been accomplished and prepared for us to receive. In addition, it was the custom of the Jewish society to give a first invitation to a banquet and then, when the food was ready, to send out a second call. The prophets had given the first invitation as they foretold the coming of the King and the Kingdom. Then, it was John the Baptist and Jesus who began to give the second call, as they declared the Kingdom was at hand and the invited guests should repent.
This continues today in the Church Age, as God had sent out His Apostles to tell the people of the good news of Jesus Christ, and you and I, as witnesses / ambassadors continue to spread the Word. So, the call goes out to all unbelievers to “Come,” which means they need to partake of God’s plan of salvation by believing that Jesus died for their sins upon the Cross and through Him they have eternal life, with entrance into the Kingdom of God.
“It was in the fullness of time that God sent forth His Son to establish the Kingdom. The preparations of previous ages focused on this point in history. God had prepared in many other ways as well. Roman roads were ready to provide a means of travel. The Greek language, one of the most precise languages for communicating exact meaning, was widespread.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Now, the next three verses we can call, “Operation Excuse Making.” This reminds me of my old high school football coach who would often state about excuses, “Excuses are like rear ends, (although he would use an expletive here), everybody has one and they all stink.” That was his way of saying, do your job and don’t make excuses for why you can’t. Similarly, Jesus is giving three examples of excuses for why people cannot accept God’s Plan of Salvation. As you will see, every excuse falls far short and they all stink!
Luke 14:18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused’.”
When the invited guests heard the call, they “began to make excuses,” as to why they could not attend. This phrase is the Present, Middle, Infinitive of the Verb PARAITEOMAI, παραιτέομαι from the root AITEO, “ask, request, or demand.” PARAITEOMAI has various meanings including, “excuses, refuse, reject, avoid, etc.”
Next, we have three types of excuses for why these people could not accept the invitation.
“The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it”.” This one simply had to “look at it,” EIDON, “see, perceive, look after, or visit.” He did not have any real or urgent work that needed to be done on the “piece of land,” AGROS, “field, country, piece of land, etc.,” that he “bought,” AGORAZO. He just “needed,” the Noun ANAKE, “necessity, compulsion, distress,” to look at it!
Thinking he has a legitimate excuse to not accept the invitation he says, “please consider me excused’,” EROTAO, “I ask, request, etc.,” SU, “you,” ECHO, “hold” in the Present, Active, Imperative, EGO, “me,” PARAITEOMAI, “excused” in the Perfect, Middle, Participle, Accusative.
This is analogous to the person who is too caught up with earthly possessions to pause and receive Jesus as their Savior.
Therefore, rather than feasting at the banquet table in the Kingdom of God, this man wanted to feast his eyes on the possessions he temporarily owns.
Luke 14:19, “Another one said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused’.”
The second excuse is, “I have bought five yoke of oxen,” AGORAZO PENTE ZEUGOS BOUS. ZEUGOS, “pair / yoke,” is only used here and Luke 2:24, for the pair of turtledoves Joseph and Mary presented at the temple to dedicate Jesus to the Lord on the eighth day after Jesus’ birth. Jesus has used BOUS, “oxen,” in Luke 13:15; 14:5, for analogy of helping / healing someone on the Sabbath. It is also used in John 2:14-15, for what the merchants were selling in the temple when Jesus chased them out the first time, and in 1 Cor 9:9; 1 Tim 5:18, for “not muzzling the ox,” meaning the congregation must support financially the Pastor for his work and service.
The typical rich person may own one ox, never mind five pairs or ten oxen. This man was extremely well off. And remember how Jesus taught that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God in Mat 19:23-24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25.
Luke 18:25, “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Again, this man does not have something urgent, critical, crucial, or highly important to take care of. He is only going to “try them out,” DOKIMAZO AUTOS, in the Aorist, Active, Infinitive that means, “to try, scrutinize, prove, test, or examine.” Nothing is so urgent in this life that you cannot stop, pause, wait, or replace what you are doing, so that you can accept Jesus’ invitation to salvation.
Like the first man, he thinks he has a legitimate excuse to not accept the invitation and says, “please consider me excused’,” EROTAO SU ECHO EGO PARAITEOMAI.
This is analogous to the person who is too caught up with their work or business to pause and receive Jesus as their Savior.
Therefore, rather than receiving the sacrifice of God and Jesus Christ to enter the Kingdom of God, by sacrificing a little of his time or one of his oxen to receive by faith God’s gift of salvation, this man wanted to sacrifice the invitation.
Luke 14:20, “Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come’.”
The third excuse is, “I have married a wife,” GAMEO GUNE. This one did not even bother to say that he needed to attend to her, take her shopping, feed her, clothe her, bring her to the doctor, etc. He just says, “I married her,” like that was enough of an excuse. Now, in Deut 24:5, a newly married man was free from obligations to the army and business for a year. Yet, the Bible does not release him for one minute from his obligations to God.
Then he states, “For that reason I cannot come,” DIA HOUTOS OUK DUNAMAI ERCHOMAI. Boy was this guy whipped! In this excuse, attending the feast would not have deprived this man of his marriage blessings, nor does serving of the Lord. This excuse is just as weak as the others. Attending the feast would not deprive or prevent anyone from the things they see as important in life. It is merely placing things in their right priority. This is analogous to the person who is too caught up with their family life to pause and receive Jesus as their Savior. Therefore, rather than entering into the Marriage of the Lamb and the Wedding Feast in the Kingdom of God, this man was more concerned about his earthly marriage that is temporary, Mat 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-35; cf. Luke 14:26.
Mat 22:30, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”
Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
By each person saying “I have to,” renders their excuses extremely weak. They all probably thought they are in good standing with the man who invited them and can presume upon their position with him. In addition, each of these men could have gone to take care of the worries after the feast to do the things with their land, oxen, or wife that they said they wanted to do. The real problem was that the feast (God’s Plan of Salvation) was not important to them. This was the Jewish response to God’s invitation. Obviously, they care more about their own selfish desires and plans than they do about God and His invitation to the Kingdom. Apparently, they consider their salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of God as something trivial and unimportant, and they will only consider it, if it does not interfere with their own desires and ambitions, possessions and property, power and authority, family and friends, etc.
Eccl 5:6, “Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?”
John 15:22, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
Rom 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
Nevertheless, in this parable our Lord Jesus Christ sets forth the manner in which God’s invitation of love, grace, and mercy would be received, and that is precisely the way in which God’s invitation of mercy is being received by those who are lost in our generation today. And, when you come to people and extend God’s wonderful invitation of grace to His royal banquet to them, instead of accepting it with glad enthusiasm, they begin to make excuses for not coming. In those incidences, do not get discouraged, but instead keep explaining to them that God has given everything for them to be saved and that He is not asking for them to give up anything, but only to believe that He has done everything. He has prepared the banquet dinner, by sending His Son to the Cross, and now He is freely inviting them to dine at the banquet, by believing in His Son Jesus Christ for their salvation. They have nothing to lose, but everything to gain!
Luke 14:21, “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame’.”
When the “slave,” DOULOS, came back and reported that the guests who accepted the first invitation now made excuses as to why they could not attend, when the second calling went out, his “master,” KURIOS / the “head of the hold” OIKODESPOTES, which we noted in Luke 13:39; 13:25, “became angry,” the Aorist, Passive, Participle, Nominative of the Verb ORGIZOMAI, ὀργίζομαι, “to be angry or to be angry at someone.” In the Greek, the master did not “become angry,” but “was angry,” as it is his nature to be angry with such an obvious rejection of his invitation. Likewise, God does not get angry with sin. It is His nature to abhor it.
Here, the Lord was angry with the invited guests who made excuses for why they could not attend the banquet. By analogy, God the Father was angry with the Israelites for not accepting His Son as their Savior / Messiah / King. Even though the Jews rejected the invitation, God, though grieved when His own people rejected Him, did not give up. Their rejection did not hinder His plan of salvation.
In that anger, having prepared everything necessary and food going to waste, it is no surprise that the head of the household instructed his servant to, “Go out at once (quickly) into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here.” They were to find other guests to come in and join or participate in the banquet. They were to go into the “streets,” PLATEIA, “a street or wide road,” and the “lanes,” RHUME, street or narrow road,” cf. Mat 7:13-14; Luke 13:24. Therefore, going to the wide and narrow roads, we understand the invitation went to those who were not looking for the Christ and to those who were looking for the Christ.
But specifically, the master tells them to invite, “the poor and crippled and blind and lame,” which is the same list that Jesus used in vs. 13, that the leading Pharisees did not invite to his party, which represents a list of people who cannot fend for themselves and need assistance. “The poor had neither time nor money to carry out all the minute details of the forms and ceremonies demanded by the Pharisees. They were made to feel they could not be restored to fellowship with God. Those with physical defects were cut off from the temple worship, even though they might have been in that condition from birth. Jesus touched all of these people, and in this parable, He showed that God would reach out to them through Him.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary). Therefore, this is a description of every unbeliever when it comes to their salvation. We are all sinners and need a Savior, Rom 3:10-12, 23; cf. Psa 14:1-3; 53:1-3.
Rom 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one’.”
Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The analogy is speaking to the Israelites who rejected God’s invitation to enter the Kingdom through the second calling of John the Baptist and Jesus Himself, where now the servants are going into the streets and lanes, (that is the rest of the world; the Gentile peoples), to invite and bring them into the banquet, (i.e., the Kingdom of God). Given the context, this may mean “throughout all of Israel,” as the streets and lanes of the city represented the despised classes among the Jews, the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners; people who the Pharisees considered to already be under the judgment of God. Then we will see in vs. 23, when these had been seated and room still remained, the invitation was extended to those in the “highways and hedges” that probably refer to the entire world and specifically the Gentiles.
The Gentiles had always been a part of God’s Plan of Salvation plan, cf. Rom 9:24-26, 30; 10:11-21, but His call went first to Israel. As such, it should have been Israel’s religious leaders who were first to respond to the invitation.
Luke 14:22, “And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room’.”
“Has been done,” is the Perfect of Completed Action, Active, Indicative of GINOMAI, which indicates that the call / invitation has gone out throughout the entire world with many accepting it, yet “there is still more room,” EIMI ETI TOPOS. This indicates that there is always more room in the Kingdom of Heaven to accept new guests. Heaven has no limitations as to how many it can accommodate. Anyone can enter. Therefore, until Jesus comes again, there will be room for others to respond to God’s invitation for salvation.
Luke 14:23, “And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled’.”
“Highways,” HODOS means, a “road, way, or highway,” which is any road that carried ordinary traffic, and the main roads coming in the city. “The word makes no distinction in the kind of road. It can denote a broad public highway for armies or chariots, a network of roads and trade routes that crisscross the land, a city street, a footpath in the country that lay through, beside, or between fields, or a river channel.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary) Therefore, it is much more expansive than either PLATEIA or RHUME.
Interestingly, HODOS is related to Christianity as John the Baptist prepared “the way” for Jesus, Mark 1:2, and Jesus is “the Way” into the heavenly sanctuary, Heb 9:8; 10:20, as well as “the Way” to heaven, John 14:6. In addition, Christianity was called “the Way,” Acts 9:2; 22:4.
Mark 1:2, “As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way”.” Cf. Mal 3:1; Mat 11:10; Luke 7:27.
Heb 10:20, “By a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.”
“Hedges” is the Noun PHRAGMOS, φραγμός that means, “fence, wall, hedge, or partition.” It is only otherwise used in Mat 21:33; Mark 12:1; parallel passages about God’s hedge around His people, cf. Isa 5:2, and in Eph 2:14, for the dividing barrier between Jews and Gentiles that Jesus broke down upon the Cross.
Eph 2:14, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.”
Hedges also speak of the surrounding of the vineyards, and in the ancient days vagrants could be found there so they could reap the corners of the fields for their food.
Therefore, the servant was to go into the entire world and “compel them to come in,” ANANKAZO, “force, compel, etc.,” EISERCHOMAI, “come in, enter, etc.” This is the extreme urging of someone to another to join in, Mat 28:18-20.
The Master instructs His servant to do so, “So that my house may be filled,” the Noun OIKOS, “house, dwelling, home, family, etc.,” with the Aorist, Passive, Conjunctive of the Verb GENIZO, “fill or be full.”
God desires that heaven be jammed pack with members of the human race both Jews and Gentiles. That is why Jesus said in John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
Luke 14:24, “For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.”
Jesus then states the no entrance scenario with, “none of those men who were invited,” which is made up of the negative OUDEIS, “not one, no one, etc.,” the Pronoun HO EKEINOS, “of those,” the Noun HO ANER, “men,” and the Perfect, Passive, Participle, Genitive of the Verb KALEO, “were invited or called.”
The consequence is that they will not, “taste of my dinner,” the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative, with the Pronoun EGO and the Noun DEIPNON, “dinner or supper.” It means they will not participate in the banquet, and by analogy, they will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
This does not mean that the Israelites will not be allowed entrance into the Kingdom, as the early Church was predominately made up of Jews. But, it does bar the religious leaders and anyone who would reject Jesus Christ as the Savior / Messiah from entrance, as the way to salvation / the Kingdom of Heaven is through Jesus Christ. It was back in Jesus’ day, as it remains that way today.
The Lord used this parable to put the religious leaders on notice. They had been resting on the assurance of entrance into the Kingdom because of their heritage. They also believed in their own good works to save them. “That the pursuit of their own moral agendas would grant them seats of honor at His banquet table.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary)
Remember, it is those who recognize that they are a sinner and need a savior that enter the Kingdom of God. Those who think that they are “well” do not look for a Savior. Typically, that type is characterized as hypocrites, proud, wealthy, and presuming. As Jesus stated in Mat 21:31, “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.”
As we noted in Luke 13:28-29, some of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will indeed recline at the table of a great feast. Yet, the only way to gain entrance to the banquet is by responding to the Lord’s invitation, (“Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved,” John 20:31; Acts 16:31). While the banquet was prepared for the originally invited guests, they are not entitled to it; it is a gift.
Therefore, if by pursuing their own agendas, they do not respond to the gracious call to join the banquet, then their places at the table will be given to others, who are the least desirable guests in human terms: “the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.” And, as Luke 13:29-30, told us, “They will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”
Therefore, none who feel entitled to citizenship in the Kingdom of God will eat a morsel, yet those who respond to the Lord’s gracious invitation; “believe in Jesus” will dine with Him for all of eternity. Only those who believe will find a place at His table, and they will all be places of honor!
So, this concludes the teachings at the Jewish leaders banquet, and it did not turn out quite as he had planned. Rather than entrapping Jesus in some fault, they all were condemned because of their lack of faith, love, compassion, mercy, and grace. Jesus rebuked their pride, misplaced priorities, and legalism. God made laws for man, and not man for laws, because He loves man. When man lives for the law, it shows his pride and arrogance and no longer reflects the heart of God. Therefore, God is looking for genuine humility that first recognizes I am a sinner and need a Savior, and second is concerned with the welfare of others, so that they too can receive the Kingdom of God. As such, we are to use our earthly privileges for the benefit of those in need. “As His journey toward the cross continued, true disciples would sense increasing tension between comfort in this world and joy in the next. Most of the men at the banquet table had already made their decision: comfort now.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary).
Therefore, the question is, “What is your decision regarding God’s invitation to His eternal Kingdom, to choose for the here and now, or to choose to receive His invitation and the blessings that go with it?”