Bible Commentaries
Luke 14

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


One Sabbath day, Jesus went to eat a meal. The Pharisees had rigid ideas about working on the Sabbath, but they made it a day of feasting. They would say: “Greet the Sabbath with a good appetite; fill your table with fish, meat, and plenty of wine.” And people were watching. Jesus is a guest, but they watch closely, hoping to trap him.

Verses 2-6


A man whose legs and arms were swollen. Jesus knows they are watching to see if he will heal this man on the Sabbath. Does our Law allow? The Law of Moses did allow it, but their Tradition said it was wrong. But they would not say a thing. They knew they did not follow what the Law said. Then he said to them. Jesus very plainly points out the fact that they say one thing and do another. See notes on Matthew 12:10-11.

Verses 7-11


So be told this parable. A parable uses common things to teach a spiritual lesson. Do not sit down in the best place. Protocol gave special honor to certain places. Some of the guests were trying to get one of the best places and the honor that went with it. It could happen that someone. If you were “moved down” to a lower place, you would “lose face” [be dis-honored]. Come on up. If you are moved up to a higher seat, you “gain points” [be honored] by this action. Because everyone who makes himself. This is a general law. Why you do something is often more important than what you do. [“It is surprising what you can do, when you don’t care who gets the credit for it.”] Many fail because they want all the glory and will not cooperate with others.

Verses 12-14


When you give a lunch or a dinner. There is no honor in giving with the thought of being paid back. Helping those who could not possibly pay you back pleases God. “When you give to the poor it is like lending to the Lord, because the Lord will pay you back” (Proverbs 19:17).

Verses 15-24


How happy are those. This is the happiness which God gives. It is a great honor to be “rescued from the power of darkness and brought safe into the Kingdom of Christ” (see Colossians 1:13). But many are not ready and willing for this! Matthew gives a similar parable in Matthew 22:1-14. Come, everything is ready. It was the custom to give the second invitation just as the feast was to begin. John the Baptist gave the first invitation to the Jewish people, Jesus is giving the second. The feast began on Pentecost, The Good News of Christ continues to say: “Come, everything is ready.” To make excuses. The excuses show they really didn’t want to be guests. The first one told the servant. The excuses are silly! The first claims to have bought a field sight unseen! The second claims to have bought five pairs [yoke = pair] of oxen without testing them out! The third has just gotten married and claims his wife doesn’t want to attend! Hurry out to the streets and alleys. The Jewish leaders had “turned down” the invitation. Now another class of people are called. The poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. The outcasts of society. There were many of them in that part of the world, as there are everywhere. Go out to the country roads and lanes. To the Gentile nations! Make people come In. By using the power of the Good News (Romans 1:16-17). I tell you that none of those. Those who refuse to come, shut themselves out by their own act.

Verses 26-27


Whoever comes to me. See notes on Matthew 10:37-38. Unless he hates his father. This is not “hate” in the sense of “despise, be hostile toward.” Jesus says his disciples must hate “himself as well,” yet each disciple is told to “love your fellow man as yourself.” The meaning is this: we must choose Christ no matter what it costs us to do so!

Verses 28-33


He sits down first and figures out what it will cost. This is just good sense. Before anyone follows Christ, they must learn what it will cost them, because everything that stands between them and Christ must be pushed into the background! But also look at the rewards!!!

Verses 34-35


Salt is good. See notes on Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50. The Christian is the salt of the earth. The taste is the spirit of love, good will, and self-sacrifice. One who does not have this spirit is worthless to Christ.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 14". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.