Luke – Wide Open Doors!
Have you ever been invited to the home of someone you knew did not agree with you? Did you accept the invitation just out of curiosity? Was every word and action you said and did watched with slanted eyes of critical judgement? Did you feel all eyes on you, even behind your back? Did you go to the dinner hoping to show them the truth about who you are and the purpose in which you came? But you knew they probably wouldn’t listen?
This is exactly the scenario of one meal at the home of a Pharisee known for his opposition of Jesus. We cannot divide these passages for the teaching all happened at one meal with all eyes “watching Him closely”.
Luke 14, New Living Translation
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
14 One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely. 2 There was a man there whose arms and legs were swollen. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in religious law, “Is it permitted in the law to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?” 4 When they refused to answer, Jesus touched the sick man and healed him and sent him away. 5 Then he turned to them and said, “Which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?” 6 Again they could not answer.
Jesus Teaches about Humility
7 When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: 8 “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? 9 The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!
10 “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”
Parable of the Great Feast
15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”
16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”
WHAT DO WE LEARN…
Jesus “turns the tables” on their thinking (which is world thinking). He gives them Truth about Who God is and what HE requires of us if we want to be included in His Kingdom. This Kingdom thinking is not what they expected. It was not how they, the religious elite, lived their lives. So, they watched him closely.
MERCY 101 – Lesson One
Jesus showed mercy by healing a man on the Sabbath. Why wait any longer?
HUMILITY 101 – Lesson Two
Jesus explained humility, an attitude foreign to those seeking all the power over the people they could possible attain. Being the greatest, seeking the top position, was their highest goal. They would do anything to get it and keep it, even if it meant getting rid of Jesus. Power consumed the Pharisees’ world thinking and behaving.
Notice that Jesus always uses the scriptures to back up Truth with an explanation of what God intended for us to understand about His Word and how to live it. He quotes passages from Psalms and Proverbs when He sums up the attitude of humility with, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
See Psalm 138: 6, 34 and Proverbs 3:34 for examples.
“For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.”
“Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.”
“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”
These commands of God were also given by the prophet, Micah who got it from God, the Father in the presence of Jesus Christ, His Son before He came to earth. Let that sink in.
“…the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8, NLT
SALVATION 101 – Lesson Three
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16, NLT
Salvation is in Jesus Christ. His salvation was offered to God’s Chosen, the Jews, first. He was the Messiah they were looking for but many stopped looking. Most refused Him. Now, ALL (Gentiles and Jews) who believe are invited to the Table of the Lord, Jesus Christ with a direct relationship with God the Father!
“For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.”
You have been invited! I have been invited!
Have you accepted your invitation from the Lord yet?
Are you watching Him closely? To learn how to live for Him?
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
You speak Truth right into our hearts, minds and souls and make an offer we simply cannot refuse. Thank you for inviting me to sit at Your table. I accept, believe and desire to follow You all the days of my life, here, and for eternity. I’m watching and listening for you.
In Jesus Name, Amen