The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 14:15-24 ~ It is Absurd to Make Excuses for not Accepting Jesus as Your Savior ~ Even Though Some Reject God’s Invitation, it is Still Available to the Entire World.

Vol. 19, No. 32 – August 23, 2020

8 20 20 - Luke 14 vs 15-24 The WordThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 14

IV. The Repudiation of the Son of Man by Men, Luke 9:51-19:27.

I. Instruction in the Light of Rejection, Luke 12:1-19:27.

11. Concerning indifferent people; rejection of Jesus’ invitation means exclusion from His Kingdom, Luke 14:15-24.

This is the fourth lesson Jesus teaches in this Chapter. Here, He provides a parable for instruction about not having excuses for not accepting His invitation to salvation.

Vs. 15

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.

Vs. 16

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.

Vs. 17

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!

Vs. 18

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.

Vs. 19

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.

Vs. 20

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!

Vs. 21

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.

Vs. 22

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.

Vs. 23

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.”

Vs. 24

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?”

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#20-085, & 20-086

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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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