by Dr. Samuel Lee   11/15/1995     0 reads



Luke 14:1-35

Key Verse: 14:23

  "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country

lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'"

Study Questions

1. Read verses 1-6. Notice the contrasts in this merciless banquet.

(What is dropsy?) What was the Pharisees' plot? How did Jesus show

God's mercy and answer his accusers?

2. Read verses 7-11. What did Jesus notice and what did he teach the

guests about being humble? Read verses 12-14. What advice did Jesus

give his host? Whom should we invite to parties? Why? (Mt 25:36-40)

3. Read verses 15-24. What is this parable about? Who were the invited

guests? (Ro 9:1-5) What excuses did invited guests give? Why? Who

finally sat down at the banquet table?  What is God's kingdom like?

4. Read verses 25-27. What must one overcome in order to be Jesus'

disciple and sit at the heavenly banquet? What does he mean by "hate"?

"Carry his cross"? In what way is the banquet invitation an invitation

to discipleship?

5. Why should diligent Bible students never become complacent? (28-30)

What does it mean to count the cost? Why is it worth it? How can we win

the war? Read verses 31-33. What does it mean to be like salt?




Luke 14:1-35

Key Verse: 14:23

  "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country

lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'"

The Bible compares each human life to a holy pilgrimage to the kingdom

of God. On the day the holy pilgrimage is completed, there we will meet

Abraham and King David, a man after God's own heart. And there we will

meet our Lord Jesus Christ, who was once slain for our sins and is now

sitting on the right side of the throne as our Judge (2Co 5:10) and our

Defender (1Jn 2:1). There we will meet all those who have lived

victorious lives as the witnesses of our Lord and eat a blessed banquet

in the kingdom of God.

This passage contrasts the banquet of a Pharisee (1-14) and the banquet

in the kingdom of God (15-24). As always God wants to bring us to the

banquet in the kingdom of God. Here Jesus teaches us that we must

obtain the privilege of attending the banquet in the kingdom of God


First, a merciless banquet  (1-6).

Luke, a Gentile, recorded the account in verses 1-14 to expose the

merciless Pharisee's banquet. On a Sabbath, Jesus was invited to dinner

by a prominent Pharisee.  Probably in his garden was  a swimming pool

made of massive stones, decorated by a flower garden. And the interior

decor of his house was glamorous. The dinner guests were all from the

high rank in the society. Obviously, the dinner party was extravagant.

The Pharisees prepared this dinner in an attempt to find a charge to

accuse Jesus as a violator of God's law. For instance, there was a big

dinner, and there just in front of Jesus was a man suffering from

dropsy. If Jean-Paul Sartre, who wrote "Nausea," saw this sight, surely

he would have been nauseated! And they watched Jesus to see if he would

heal the sick man on the Sabbath.

Usually, the enemies of Jesus attack, then Jesus defends himself by

teaching the word of God. This time, Jesus attacked them with a

question which he had expounded to them before (13:15,16). A Pharisee's

banquet, held to accuse Jesus, was invalidated. Jesus became indignant

when he saw that they were using the man with dropsy as bait to trap

him. Jesus rebuked them by saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath

or not?" (3) Verse 4a says, "But they remained silent." Their silence

meant their defeat. Jesus lost no time in healing the man. Jesus took

hold of the man, healed him and sent him away. Jesus risked his life to

heal the man who was suffering from dropsy. Maybe one of the man's legs

was bigger than the waist of an ordinary man. This verse reminds us of

John 10:11. It says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays

down his life for the sheep."

In order to teach the mercy of God, Jesus told them a beautiful story.

Look at verse 5.  "Then he asked them, 'If one of you has a son or an

ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately

pull him out?'" That's right. One would waste no time in pulling him

out. The same is true with God. The truth of God is to save men from

their miseries and ultimately from their sins, and to give life to

those who are perishing. Jesus loves us. He is full of grace and


Second, Jesus teaches them to be humble (7-11).

Jesus saw that the places of honor at the table were all occupied, and

his disciples were probably assigned to the benches in the back for

"extras," people such as professional beggars.  So the disciples did

not know whether they should be standing there or sitting down on the

benches. Jesus told them this parable. Look at verses 8,9. "When

someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor,

for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so,

the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this

man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least

important place." Men of sinful integrity would say, "I am a little

better than you. So I must sit in the seat of honor and you must sit in

the back." But God's people must not think this way. The children of

God must think, "O my brothers and beautiful sisters must sit in a

better place. It doesn't matter even if I have to stand or sit on a

corner of a bench with professional beggars." James says, "God opposes

the proud but gives grace to the humble" (Ja 4:6).

Jesus told them to humble themselves. Look at verse 10. "But when you

are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he

will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be

honored in the presence of all your fellow guests." Worldly people are

oversensitive to exalt themselves. But the children of God are all

supposed to learn how to humble themselves (11). Matthew 23:11 says,

"The greatest among you will be your servant." Again, James 4:10 says,

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." Above

all, the children of God must follow the example of humble Jesus.

Though Jesus is God, he humbled himself and became a servant of all

(Php 2:6-8; Mk 10:45).

Third, invite the poor (12-14).

Jesus saw that the members of the dinner were all the people of rank,

gathered to enjoy bragging about some things that are not really true

(12). They must have spent much money to enjoy dinner parties among

themselves, complimenting each other, saying, "Oh, your puppy is cute!"

What did Jesus say to them? Look at verses 13,14. "But when you give a

banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you

will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at

the resurrection of the righteous." Jesus wanted them to invite those

who are in need of God's mercy. An act of mercy is remembered and

repaid, as our Lord promised Abraham as well as all the heroes and

heroines of faith. When we practice God's mercy we can please God, and

in proportion to our service, he gives us a fountain of joy welling up

in our souls. Surely our Lord Jesus will say, "Well done, my good and

faithful servant!" (Lk 19:17) Matthew 25:36-40 says, "'I needed clothes

and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison

and you came to visit me'...'When did we see you sick or in prison and

go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever

you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for

me.'" Here we must learn that giving something to the helpless is the

same as giving to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fourth, the great banquet in the kingdom of God (15-24).

God is eager to invite his chosen people to the banquet in the kingdom

of God. When one of the Pharisees heard Jesus' teaching, he made a cry

out of his wonder, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the

kingdom of God" (15b). This Pharisee must have grasped the blessedness

of the kingdom of God. Jesus taught him how much God is pleased to

invite his children to the heavenly banquet, without missing one. Look

at verses 16,17. "Jesus replied: 'A certain man was preparing a great

banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his

servant to tell those who had been invited, "Come, for everything is

now ready."'" In verse 17, "those who had been invited," refers by

implication to his chosen people (Ro 9:1-5), as well as all the people

of the world. Of course, the invitation is to a hunch-backed woman, and

to a man whose leg was swollen by dropsy. They were the people chosen

for a glorious mission.

But they blindly rejected God's invitation. What a tragic story! One of

them said, "I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it"

(18b). Another said, "I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on

my way to try them out. Please excuse me" (19). Still another said, "I

just got married, so I can't come" (20). They rejected God's

invitation. Those who rejected the banquet of the kingdom of God are

those who are distressed by the pain of busy life in this world.

What happened next? Look at verse 21. "The servant came back and

reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry

and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of

the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'"

Here, the owner of the house represents God. God was very sorry because

his own people, for whom he had prepared the banquet, rejected his

invitation (Jn 1:11). But God did not stop inviting his people; the

invitation was extended to those who were undeserving sinners. They

were the tax collectors, the prostitutes (Mt 21:32), the poor, the

crippled, the blind and the lame.  When they were invited, they were

surprised that they were invited. They accepted the invitation with

great joy because they knew they were sinners who did not deserve such

a glorious invitation. They realized God's deep love through his

invitation. They learned Jesus' word, "anybody and everybody."

The servant said, "Sir, what you ordered has been done, but there is

still room" (22). Then the master told his servant, "Go out to the

roads and country lanes and make them come in...." (23) Our Father God

in heaven earnestly desires that the kingdom of God be filled with his

precious children. But the kingdom of God is still not full. So God

decided to invite the Gentiles.  In inviting the Gentiles, the owner of

the house said, "Make them come in." Our Lord Jesus is gentle like a

mother. He does not break a bruised reed or snuff a smoldering wick

(Isa 42:3). But as for world salvation purpose, he said, "Make them

come in." These days many people don't interfere with others, even when

they know that they are dashing toward destruction. They are afraid of

violating human rights. To invite people to the feast of the kingdom of

God, we must learn from the owner that without heart, or suffering

loss, nothing happens. True love always goes beyond human reason or

unreasonable sacrifices. God wants to fill the seats of the banquet of

the kingdom of God. In short, God wants to save all people, that no one

may perish.

* Why does God want to invite us to the banquet of the kingdom of God?

It's because God is our Father and he wants to bring all of us back to

his kingdom. God does not want us to perish in our sins. Before knowing

God's love personally, each person tortures himself under the power of

sin and death. Before knowing God's love personally, no one is happy;

no one can see the kingdom of God. The happiest scene of mankind may be

eating with Jesus in the kingdom of God. John described this happiness

in Revelation 3:20a: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock." God

opens the door and is waiting for his second son (Lk 15:20).

Fifth, basic attitude of being a member of the kingdom of God (25-35).

Large crowds followed Jesus (25). At that time, Jesus' mind was

occupied by his upcoming crucifixion. So Jesus thought that it was the

right time for his disciples to make a decision.  Without a decision of

faith, none of his disciples could obtain the seats of the kingdom of

God.  His followers must count the cost.

First of all, in order to obtain the banquet of the kingdom of God, we

must overcome our sentimentalism. Look at verse 26. "If anyone comes to

me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his

brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my

disciple." Here in verse 26, the word "hate" does not mean to abandon

one's family members at random, but to deny one's sentimentalism. Those

who are slaves of sentimentalism cannot give their first priority to


Also, in order to obtain membership in the kingdom of God one must

carry his own cross of mission (27). God does not accept to his banquet

in the kingdom of God those who ignored God's mission assigned to them

to carry out while on earth. Verses 28-33 are recorded only in Luke, to

awaken those Pharisees who were in the illusion that the banquet in the

kingdom of God was their monopoly simply because they were chosen

people. This warning applies to us also. In order to obtain the seats

of the banquet in the kingdom of God, we must make a decision of faith

to invest our property, made from the dust of the ground, for eternal

life and the kingdom of God. Otherwise, we will be dropouts. Look at

verses 28-30. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not

first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to

complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish

it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began

to build and was not able to finish.'" This parable teaches us that we

must count the cost, and that it is worth it, even though it may be a

life investment. In order to attend the banquet in the kingdom of God,

we need a strategy. For example, in order to defeat an enemy stronger

than ourselves we need a strategy (31-33). The strategy of God's people

to win the war is easy and simple: "Trust and obey." That's all. When

we depend on God, God will fight for us (Ex 14:13,14). Otherwise we

will be dropouts from the banquet in the kingdom of God.

In this passage, we learn that we must thank God, realizing God's deep

love to invite us to the heavenly banquet in the kingdom of God.