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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 14

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-9

25 Compare Mat_25:10-12 .

27 Compare 2Ti_2:19 .

29 Eastern etiquette is most stringent as to the placing of guests at a banquet. The most honorable must have the first place and the least the last. So it will be in the kingdom. It is probable that none of the great ones of His day, should they find an entrance, would maintain their dignities. Poor, despised fishermen, among the lowest social layer of the land, will be first, for they will rule the twelve tribes. And some, no doubt, of those in high standing in the past, will take a humble place, glad to be honored by the presence of those whom they once despised.

30 Compare Heb_11:39-40 .

31 Compare Luk_23:7 .

31 Herod had been interested in the Lord and wanted to see Him do some sign (23:8). He had killed John, but the Lord does not fear him. Calling him a jackal, or fox, He sends him word that He will continue His ministry as planned, and will spend three more days in his territory, on His way to Jerusalem. There the sacrifice must be offered. He knew that the hatred of men would be restrained so that He could not be killed far from the holy city. If an Israelite wanted to sacrifice to God he could not offer it any place. He must bring it to Jerusalem or turn it into money to purchase his offering there. God will not go counter to His law. He leads the Victim to the proper place.

34-35 Compare Mat_23:37-39 ; Psa_118:26 .

34 Jerusalem, the center of rule and religion in Israel, the most favored city on the face of the earth, was also the center of apostasy and rebellion. Had the priests of her temple remained true to God, there would have been no need for prophets and special messengers to recall them to Jehovah. But they would not heed the prophets and, instead of leading the people in the ways of righteousness and holiness, they turned them against God's spokesmen. These thoughts were awakened in His mind by the threat of Herod. While He had no fear of him, He well knew what would befall Him at the hands of the priests and rulers of Israel, who should have shielded Him from Herod. They, though the accredited representatives of God, were more thirsty for His blood than the Edomite. Religion, apart from the Spirit of God, is the most vicious and immoral of human motives.

1-6 Compare Luk_13:10-17 ; Mat_12:9-13 ; Deu_22:4 .

1 It seems improbable that a chief Pharisee should invite Him to his home without some sinister design. This seems to have been a trap, for it is most unlikely that a dropsical man would be a guest at such a feast. This is confirmed by the fact that he was dismissed after being healed. He seems to have been used as a test. If the Lord did not heal him, they could claim that He was not able. If He did, they could accuse Him of desecrating the Sabbath. Either way they had Him at a disadvantage. That is why they watched Him so closely. But the

Lord saw the snare and caught them in their own craftiness ( 1Co_3:19 ). He closed their mouths completely.

7 No doubt our Lord followed His own admonition and took the last place at this feast and was allowed to keep it ! He was but a poor peasant. They were lawyers and Pharisees! Their action at the feast was but an index of their general character. They exalted themselves and were due to be abased. To grasp the full force of this illustration we must remember that, among the Jews at that time, such matters were deemed of serious importance. We may sit anywhere at a banquet without feeling offended, but with them the rank of each guest must be scrupulously acknowledged by placing him above all his inferiors. It was properly the duty of the host to attend to this. The principle may well be applied at all times. Are we taking a high place? If so, our great Host may need to call us down. Are we in the lowest? Then we need not fear, for the lowest cannot make room below themselves.

Verses 10-34

10 Compare Pro_25:6-7 .

12 The pure joy of giving is largely lost when it degenerates into a trade. Yet it seems from this that we cannot give without being recompensed. If we give to get we may, indeed, be disappointed, but if we give with the single thought of blessing others, we are doubly repaid. There is the happiness that attends the giving, and the repayment in the resurrection. The grasping gift gets but little that is worth while. It defeats itself. The gracious gift gains all that it seems to forego and brings happiness to the recipient, to the giver, and to God.

13 Compare Neh_8:10-12 .

15-21 Compare Mat_22:1-10 ; Pro_9:1-5 .

15 This remark seems to be an adroit attempt to turn the conversation into a safer and more comfortable channel. But this man was probably one of the lawyers or Pharisees (there were no others present) who was refusing the invitation to God's great dinner. Thence the Lord takes him up, and suggests that the happiness of eating in the kingdom is only for those who come. The picture He draws is in striking contrast with the feast He was attending. All who were invited came to this feast and deemed it an honor to be present. No poor or crippled or blind or lame were admitted, except the dropsical man, and he was dismissed before the feasting began, though he no longer was a cripple. The great dinner of the kingdom will be quite the opposite of this. The men of substance refused the invitation. The scribes, lawyers, and Pharisees would not come and they will know nothing of the happiness of those who eat bread in the kingdom. But the outcasts, those whom the proud religionists would spurn from their table, these will enjoy the happiness which comes from tasting God's provision and plenty. The rejection of the invitation is a plain intimation of our Lord's rejection by the influential leaders of Israel, the self-righteous, who thought they needed no repentance. They were not hungry; they felt no necessity. They were busy in acquiring the land of their poorer countrymen by purchase, or they were getting control of more acreage by adding to their oxen, for the land was allotted to each man according to his ability to farm it. They were laying up treasures on earth. They had no ear for the invitation and shaIl have no place in the kingdom.

23 Compare Mar_16:15 .

23 There is only one slave here, consequently we must limit the scope of this parable to our Lord's ministry. He never went to the nations outside the land, but He did reach the Samaritans and the Syro-Phoenician woman, who were outside the narrow pale of ultra-Judaism.

24 Compare Act_13:46 .

25 This saying has proved a stumbling stone to many, and it is usual to tone down the word "hating" to some milder term. But it is the same word which undoubtedly means hate in other connections. The solution of the difficulty lies in the tense of the verbs. It is not a saying for all time, especially not for the present, but was applicable only during those closing days of His ministry when His disciples were to withstand the opposition of their loved ones, and the seduction of their own souls, which would shrink from the suffering in which faithfulness to Christ would involve them. It is only in this connection that the hate was to be exercised. It is its scope, rather than its intensity, which was limited. Such an attitude toward our relatives is utterly foreign to the spirit of grace which pervades the present.

26 Compare Deu_13:6-11 ; Deu_33:9 ; Mat_10:37-38 ; Rev_12:11 .

28 Compare Pro_24:27 .

28-33 The leaving of all possessions (above their allotments of land) was another special requirement, in view of the coming kingdom.

34 Holding on to possessions or compromising with those dear to them at such a time would make them like insipid salt, quite useless for the purpose for which it Is designed.

Verse 35

34-35 Compare Mat_5:13 ; Mar_9:50 .

1 Compare Luk_7:34-35 ; Mat_9:10-13 .

2 Our Lord's liking for sinners led the proud, self-righteous Pharisees and scribes to utter a most precious truth, though they, indeed, did not intend it thus. "This man is receiving sinners . . .! " Far from denying the charge, He makes it the basis of a five-fold parable in which He emphasizes the vital fact that God is not concerned with the righteous, but with sinners. The term parable is used at the beginning and includes, not only that of the lost sheep, but also the lost coin, and the prodigal son, and the unjust steward, and the rich man and Lazarus. They are five different parts of one parable, which deals with the nation of Israel and the various classes in it. First we are shown the Saviour's attitude toward the lost in the story of the lost sheep. The following pair, concerning the lost coin and the prodigal son, are strikingly like the last two, concerning the unjust steward, and the rich man and Lazarus. Two of these stories have to do with money, and the story of the prodigal son is closely matched by that of the rich man. Like all the Lord's parables, these are not merely apt illustrations of divine truth, but pictorial parables of spiritual facts as they existed in the nation to which He was sent.

3 Our Lord was not sent to any but the straying sheep of the house of Israel ( Mat_15:24 ). He had no commission for any other nation and He never left the land of Israel to reach others. The hundred sheep, therefore, bring before us the nation of the covenant. The Lord is the good Shepherd, Who gives His soul for the sheep ( Joh_10:11 ). The ninety and nine are the selfrighteous majority of the nation, who, like the Pharisees and scribes, to whom He was speaking, thought they had no need of repentance. They were not safe within the shelter of the fold, but out in the wilderness, left without the protection of the Shepherd, and open to the attacks of the wild beasts. They merely thought themselves safe. But they did not stir His heart or call for His succor. A single silly sheep astray from the flock causes Him more suffering and more joy than all the rest. God could get little satisfaction out of Israel because of their self-righteousness. The tax gatherers and sinners heard Him gladly, and they alone responded to His love and mercy. He received sinners because no others would have Him or felt their need of Him. The hunt for a lost sheep in the wilds of Judea was a hazardous and dangerous task, and may well remind us of His suffering unto death on the cross. The descent into a deep and dark ravine infested with savage beasts, is a fit picture of His descent into the depths of Golgotha. The lost sheep gives us God's side. The lost coin gives us Israel's side. The nation is often seen under the figure of a woman. To this very day it is the custom among the women of the land to wear silver coins for a headdress. These are their most prized ornaments, and mean much more to them than the mere money value. Israel had been decked with ornaments by Jehovah, and it was one of these that was lost. And each sinner among them who repented had a foretaste of the day when the redemption money is found for Israel's ransom.

4 Compare Luk_19:10 ; Isa_53:6 ; 1Pe_2:25 .

11 In the parable of the two sons we have a portrait of the two classes in Israel to illustrate their moral distance from God. The prodigal was far from the father's house; the elder brother was far from his heart. So the Pharisees and scribes boast of a ceremonial nearness to Jehovah, but their hearts are far from Him. The tax collectors and sinners are outcasts, yet they know their plight and yearn for the compassionate mercy of God. The point in this portion of the fivefold parable lies in the contrast between the two sons. Natural religion, such as the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes possessed, prides itself on conduct such as characterized the elder son, which consists in doing right and living up to the law as best they could. But such deportment, even if sincere and true, gives no occasion for the father to reveal His affection. The prodigal is a composite picture of the sinner and the publican. His dissipation and profligacy set him forth as a sodden sinner, mired in immorality. His alliance with the citizen of a foreign country, his herding of the hogs and his desire to eat the diet of the unclean creatures, is a deft delineation of the traitorous tax collector, who joined with Rome in oppressing God's people. He had been far worse than a mere "prodigal". He recognizes himself as a sinner.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Luke 14". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/luke-14.html. 1968.
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