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100. In the house of a Pharisee (Luke 14:1-24)
When Jesus visited the house of a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath day, his critics were waiting to see if he would heal a sick man who was there. When Jesus asked them if healing on the Sabbath was lawful, they refused to answer. Jesus again pointed out the hypocrisy of those who would care for animals on the Sabbath but not for people (Luke 14:1-6).
As mealtime approached, Jesus noticed some guests choosing the places of honour at the table. He warned that those who seek status or prestige are in danger of being humiliated. God exalts only those who willingly take the lowest place (Luke 14:7-11). Jesus had a similar warning for the host. His reason for doing good should not be to win favour with people who can be of use to him. Rather he should do good out of genuine love, not expecting anything in return (Luke 14:12-14).
One of the guests, hearing Jesus’ illustrations about feasting, tried to impress him with a comment concerning the coming great feast in the kingdom of God (Luke 14:15). In reply Jesus told a parable designed to make the man, and the other guests, realize that many who thought themselves assured of a place in the kingdom were going to miss out.
Jesus likened the kingdom to a feast to which many were invited, but for various reasons they all refused. This was how most of the Jews treated Jesus’ invitation. They felt they were good enough already and did not need to repent (Luke 14:16-20). Consequently, the religiously respectable people were left out of the kingdom, but outcasts such as beggars, tax collectors and prostitutes were included. Even Gentiles from far off places accepted the invitation that the Jews refused (Luke 14:21-24).
101. More about discipleship (Luke 14:25-35)
The crowds that followed Jesus thought he was on the way to a throne. Jesus told them he was on the way to a cross. If they wanted to follow him they had to understand what his kingdom was like and what his followers could expect. They had to love him above everything else, and had to be prepared for self-sacrifice and even death (Luke 14:25-27).
Like a farmer building a tower or a king going to war, the person wanting to be a disciple of Jesus had first to consider what it would cost and what it would involve (Luke 14:28-32). If people were not prepared to give everything for the sake of Jesus, their lives could be of no use to him. They would be as useless as salt that had no saltiness (Luke 14:33-35).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Luke 14". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20