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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 14

Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:14 .— Lk. now more than atones for his great omission (of Mark 6:45 to Mark 8:26) by a great insertion. This section is mainly peculiar to Lk. It describes incidents of the last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.

Verses 1-24

Luke 14:1-24 . A Sabbath with a Pharisee.— A companion picture to Luke 13:10-17. When in Luke 6:6-11 Lk. relates the cure of the man with a withered hand ( Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 12:9-13) he omits the illustrative argument used by Jesus ( Matthew 12:11 f.); he brings it in here in a story peculiar to his gospel. Montefiore justly points out that the animals ( Luke 14:5; cf. Luke 13:15) are in danger of perishing, whereas the woman and man would not have suffered by waiting till the Sabbath was past. He shows that the true argument is “ Deeds of charity and love should never be put off; they take precedence of and temporarily Invalidate all ritual laws and ceremonial observance of sacred days.”

Luke 14:5 . mg. “ a son” is out of the question, despite good MS. authority. Rendel Harris ( Sidelights on NT Research, p. 205) suggests that the original reading was hvs, “ pig,” which was taken as a contraction of huios, “ son.” Jesus said, “ Even if your pig(!) fell into a pit on the Sabbath, you would pull it out,” a delightful piece of irony. “ Son” was seen to be impossible, hence sheep, ass, ox, were all brought in as substitutes.

Luke 14:7-14 . Humility and Hospitality.

Luke 14:8-10 and Luke 14:12-14 may originally have been parable stories which Lk. has turned into direct counsel to guests and hosts respectively. The “ chief seat” was at the host’ s left hand, though there may be a reference here to a dais.

Luke 14:10 . Cf. Proverbs 25:6 f.; we are not to conclude that Jesus advocated false humility as a road to advancement; He speaks of consequence rather than purpose. J. Weiss suggests that the counsel is really that of an ascetic section of the early Church.

Luke 14:11 introduces the idea of the Messianic banquet and the judgment.

Luke 14:12-14 . The lesson is that real kindness is disinterested and seeks no recompense. The recompense in the future is sure and sufficient. The tense of the verb “ call” in Luke 14:12 is important; “ do not make a practice of inviting.”

Luke 14:14 . Most NT references to the Resurrection confine it to the “ just” ; note, however John 5:29, Acts 24:15, Revelation 20:12 f.

Luke 14:15-24 . Parable of the Marriage Feast.Matthew 22:1-10 * is similar but not identical. Luke 14:15 ( cf. Revelation 19:9) serves to lead the thought from the earthly feast to the heavenly. The counsel of Luke 14:13 finds a supreme illustration in the action of God ( Luke 14:21). Jesus, in Lk.’ s parable, is the servant who summons the guests, in Mt. He is the King’ s Son in whose honour the feast is given. Nothing is here said about the destruction of the unwilling (and murderous) guests. Lk. defines the new guests more closely than Mt.; the “ poor,” etc., of Luke 14:21 are the outcast Israelites, the publicans and sinners, those from the “ highways and hedges” are the Gentiles. It is not God’ s will that there are “ few who are saved.”

Luke 14:23 . constrain: this word need not mean more than “ urge” ( Mark 6:45); unhappily it has been used to justify religious compulsion and persecution.

Luke 14:24 . you: the plural pronoun shows that Jesus, though still using the imagery of the parable, is here directly addressing the hearers.

Verses 25-35

Luke 14:25-35 . Discipleship and its Cost.— The passage is a reminder that, despite the universality of the Kingdom, the number of its true subjects is small. To the crowd that is following Him Jesus applies a stringent and sifting test. Few after all will reach the Messianic banquet, and only then after much tribulation. The saying of Luke 14:26 f. is in a harder form than Matthew 10:37 f., and it is better to think that Mt. has softened it than for us to do so here. Such uncompromising sayings were quite in Jesus’ manner, and we have to judge them in the light of His whole spirit and teaching. (We may perhaps compare the “ Blessing” of Levi by Moses in Deuteronomy 33:9.) Yet we may very well find in Jesus’ teaching a distinction between simple entrance into the Kingdom and full discipleship with its absolute and complete consecration. The two parabolic questions which follow teach the lesson of Luke 9:62. It is better not to attempt what one cannot thoroughly accomplish; “ better never begin to be a full disciple than to put down the cross after once you have taken it up.” Luke 14:33 is not exactly the conclusion we should have expected; it may be Lk.’ s way of fitting the parables into the instruction on renunciation. Luke 14:34 f. ( Matthew 5:13) is here used in connexion with the idea of full discipleship, absolute renunciation. Those who attain this are “ the salt of the earth” ; if they fall away from it they are not fit for the Kingdom of God.

Luke 14:31 . Some commentators see a reference here to Herod Antipas, whose army had been routed by Aretas of Arabia, whose daughter Herod had divorced when he married Herodias. Cf. p. 654.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 14". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.