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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Luke 14

Verse 1

1 The Pharisees were ever on the alert to discover something in the work of Jesus for which to condemn him. Their most convenient pretext usually came on the sabbath day. Since Jesus was always busy, it was not unusual to see him performing some act of kindness on that day.

Verse 2

2 Sure enough, there was a man in the group who was afflicted with dropsy. That word is from HY-DROPS, meaning "water." It is related to the word from which we get our English word "hydrant."

Verse 3

3 Jesus answering. The text says nothing about whether the people said anything openly, but Jesus could read the thoughts of men, and he knew they were thinking of criticizing him. He anticipated them by speaking on the very subject of their wicked motives. But he did not put the question in the form they would have wished. He could have asked if it was lawful to do anything on the sabbath, but that form of question would have implied its own answer which would have been negative. So he put it on the humane basis of healing a man on the sabbath day.

Verse 4

4. The Pharisees were too wise to say that it would ever be wrong to heal an afflicted person, and they were too prejudiced to say yes to the question of Jesus. He then pro-ceded to heal the man and release him cured.

Verse 5

6. Referring to their own practice, Jesus asked them another question which they could not answer. It means they could not harmonize their practices with the criticism they made against Jesus in their hypocritical hearts.

Verse 7

8 Chief rooms means the same as highest rooms, the expression used in this verse. More honorable means from a social standpoint, not in the sense of character.

Verse 9

9 The host might wish to prefer the more honorable in assigning a seat. It would be humiliating to be directed to step down with the other guests looking on.

Verse 10

0 A guest would be running no risk of embassassment to take a low place voluntarily, even should he be left there; instead, he would stand a chance of being promoted. Worship in this place means "honor" according to the note at Mat 2:2.

Verse 11

1 This verse states a principle that applies to human beings in general, whether in their relation to each other, or to that under the Lord and His treatment of human servants. (See Est 7:9-10; Dan 4:37; Jas 4:10.)

Verse 12

2 We recall that Jesus spoke the present group of parables while at the feast mentioned in verse 1. We know Jesus did not condemn showing hospitality to persons who were not actual cases for "charity," for he was at that very time enjoying a meal given for the sake of sociability and friendship. Lest a recompense be made denotes he should not restrict his feasts to those who would be able to repay him.

Verse 13

3 The classes named could not "return the call," hence if a man offered them a feast, it could be for no selfish motive as to temporal things.

Verse 14

4 It is right to do good to the unfortunate with a view of reward after the resurrection, for that would mean one is expecting his reward from the Lord.

Verse 15

5 Jesus had just spoken of the future reward for one giving a dinner to the poor. This fellow guest thought it was to be in the form of another meal in the kingdom of God, meaning a spiritual feast in heaven. With such an idea in view, he pronounced a blessing on whomsoever would have that privilege.

Verse 16

6 This group was evidently of the Jewish race since it was by invitation of a chief Pharisee (verse 1) that the meal was being served. Knowing the attitude the Jews as a nation were going to take toward the Gospel, Jesus saw the need for an important lesson in which a spiritual meal (the Gospel) would be served long before the one this guest had in mind, and he spoke a parable in the form of a great supper.

Verse 17

7 Them that were bidden means the Jews to whom the invitation was first given. (See Mat 10:5-6; Act 13:46; Rom 1:16.)

Verse 18

8 In an illustration some items need to be told to make the story intelligible, even though they are not literally applicable. Make excuse is rendered "excuse themselves" in the Englishman's Greek New Testament. Much speculation has been done over these "excuses," but we should see in them only a part of the parable that was intended to portray the unfavorable attitude of the Jews to the Gospel.

Verse 19

9 If I cared to moralize on this subject, I would say this man was more interested in his temporal products than in the good things offered by the "certain man."

Verse 20

0 Marriage is a divine institution, but a man should not let love for his wife be greater than the things offered him by the Lord.

Verse 21

1 The servant who was sent to call the invited guests was one of the preachers of Christ. He reported the cold reception he had been given by the ones originally invited. It made the master of the house angry, and he decided to extend the invitation to others who had not been previously favored. They would be Jews, but of the lower class, such as the "publicans and harlots" (Mat 21:31).

Verse 22

2 There is room enough in the plan of salvation for the whole world, hence the servant told the master that yet there is room.

Verse 23

3 Highways and hedges means the regions of the Gentiles. Compel means to use the force of truthful persuasion in bringing them into the house of the Master, which means the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Verse 24

4 This is explained at verse 17.

Verse 25

5 The crowds that walked after Jesus did not all have the same motives (Joh 6:26), and that called forth the teaching of several verses following.

Verse 26

6 Hate is from MISEO which Thayer defines at this place, "to love less, to postpone in love or esteem, to slight." It is clear, therefore, that. Jesus does not contradict other passages that require us to love our parents. He means for us to love the Lord above all earthly beings.

Verse 27

7 This is explained at Mat 10:38; Mat 16:24.

Verse 28

8 The lesson of the parable, beginning with this verse, is that following Christ should not be a matter of carelessness or light concern. Whoever thinks of being a disciple of Jesus should realize it will cost him many sacrifices.

Verse 29

0 In temporal matters a man usually manifests the good judgment expressed in the preceding verse. That is not only because it is good business, but to avoid the belittling remarks that might be made by the observers. They would criticize a man for starting something before he learned whether he would be able to finish it.

Verse 31

1 This parable teaches the same lesson as the preceding one. A wise commander would not declare war against another until he had studied the comparative strength of the two armies and other military resources.

Verse 32

2 Even after hostilities have started, if he realizes that the outcome may be doubtful, he will not rashly proceed without first trying to make a settlement with the opposing forces. Verse 33. We need not speculate on all the details of the story. Jesus gives us his own interpretation of the parable by repeating what he had previously taught, namely, that one who proposes to follow Him must sacrifice everything that would hinder.

Verse 34

5 This is commented upon at Mat 5:13.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Luke 14". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/luke-14.html. 1952.