Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath. The parables of the wedding feast and the great banquet. The cost of discipleship. Salt without taste is worthless.
VERSE 1. When he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching him.
dropsy. This was an illness where the body would retain fluid and become swollen.
VERSE 3. Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
VERSE 4. But they were silent. He took him, and healed him, and let him go.
VERSE 5. He answered them, “Which of you, if your son or an ox fell into a well, wouldn’t immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”
your son or an ox. Whether a fellow human being fell into a well, or an animal fell into a well, they would help.
VERSE 6. They couldn’t answer him regarding these things.
VERSE 7. He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them,
VERSE 8. “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him,
don’t sit in the best seat. We Christians are be others-centered, not self-centered.
Proverbs 25:6. Don’t exalt yourself in the presence of the king, or claim a place among great men.
VERSE 9. and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place.
VERSE 10. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you.
sit in the lowest place. Christian leaders often disobey this command. Most of them sit in the most prominent place.
Proverbs 25:7. for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.
Sirach 32:2. And when you have done all your office, take your place, That you may be gladdened on their account, And receive a crown for your well ordering.
1 Samuel 9:22. Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited, who were about thirty persons.
Luke 14:10-11. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
VERSE 11. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
This verse exemplifies the seemingly-paradoxical nature of life in Jesus Christ:
- If you exalt yourself, you will be humbled.
- If you humble yourself, you will be exalted.
VERSE 12. He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back.
don’t call your friends. Our friends are the people we usually invite to our parties. But Jesus Christ says to NOT invite them.
nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen. Most of us invite family members to our important events. But Jesus Christ says to NOT invite them.
NIV translation: But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.
But when you make a feast. Jesus Christ teaches us how to host a feast.
ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind. Those are the people that Jesus Christ commands us to invite to our lunches and dinners, feasts and banquets.
This is a difficult teaching. We Christians ignore it. Or we explain it away.
VERSE 14. and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”
VERSE 15. When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is he who will feast in God’s Kingdom!”
VERSE 16. But he said to him, “A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people.
VERSE 17. He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’
VERSE 18. They all as one began to make excuses. “The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’
began to make excuses. Here are the excuses in this section:
- One man bought a field (verse 18).
- Another man bought five yoke of oxen (verse 19).
- A third man just got married (verse 20).
VERSE 21. “That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’
VERSE 22. “The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’
VERSE 23. “The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Go out into the highways and hedges. It is urgent that we reach out to other people. Jesus Christ commands us to go out and evangelize people.
that my house may be filled. Jesus Christ wants heaven to be populated with LOTS of people.
VERSE 24. For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’ ”
VERSE 25. Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them,
VERSE 26. “If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple.
disregard. The Greek word is μισεῖ (“misei”). It means hate, detest. Most people say our love for Jesus Christ should be so central and strong that our love for family is hatred in comparison.
VERSE 28. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?
VERSE 29. Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him,
VERSE 30. saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’
VERSE 31. Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
VERSE 32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace.
VERSE 33. So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple.
renounce. The Greek word is ἀποτάσσεται (“apotassetai”). It means to set apart, to take leave of, to separate, to renounce, to send away, to say goodbye to. Think: give it up and send it away.
all that he has. The Greek word is πᾶσιν (“pasin”). It means the whole, every kind of. To follow Jesus Christ, must we get rid of all our possessions?
Some people say we should be anti-materialistic. We should live very simply. It is better to buy second-hand clothing than new. It is better to have a troublesome rusty car than a new one.
Other people say we should renounce personal ownership. This is what the members of a religious order do. They renounce personal ownership of things. Instead, their religious order has ownership of things. It provides them with a car and home and cable TV.
Still other people spiritualize this verse. In their quest for eternal life, nonbelievers have accumulated all sorts of religious practices and good works. To follow Jesus, they must give those spiritualized possessions up.
However, the words of this verse mean something different from those interpretations. Jesus speaks of us giving up all our possessions. Taken literally, it would suggest that we will become without property, and homeless.
can’t be my disciple. This is not a side issue. Jesus Christ says it is central.
flat and tasteless. That is, lose its taste. The Greek word is μωρανθῇ (“mōranthē”). It means make foolish, taint, make useless.
VERSE 35. It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
nor for the manure pile. The Greek word is κοπρίαν (“koprian”). It means manure, dung-hill.
Why would salt be added to a manure pile? A small amount of sea salt added to a new compost pile can kick-start the decomposition process. The mineral content of sea salt makes for higher-quality humus and provides the microbes in the pile an energetic nutrient source.
thrown. The Greek word is βάλλω (“ballousin”). It means to cast, to throw, to drop.
In John 15:6, the wicked are ballousin (cast) into the fire.
out. The Greek word is ἔξω (“exō”). It means outside, without. Some believers have lost their saltiness. They must be thrown out.
Some people can’t even act as a catalyst for composting. We wonder if that means people with an obligation-mindset.
Or perhaps it has to do with encouraging. Salt flavors food, and people encourage one another. But if salt no longer flavors the food it certainly won’t be able to compost it. So in the body of Christ, people who aren’t salt are pointless. They do nothing to support the other members of the body.
We see that reflected in the discussion about gifts in Romans 12:8a: “if it is encouraging, let him encourage.”
Or perhaps it has to do with evangelizing. Salt flavors food, and people evangelize outsiders. But if salt no longer flavors the food it certainly won’t be able to compost it. So in the body of Christ, people who aren’t salt are pointless. They do nothing to bring in new members to the body.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.