Luke Chapter 14 Continued
Luke 14:16 “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:”
“A great supper”: This parable, similar in many ways to the one (in Matt. 22:2-14), and making the same point, is nonetheless distinct. That parable was told on a different occasion, and some key details differ.
“And bade many”: Apparently, no one declined the invitation. The man evidently had every reason to expect that all who were invited would attend.
We need to look for a moment back to the last lesson to see that this man Jesus is speaking directly to here is the one who realized that Jesus’ sayings were true. This is Jesus speaking above.
Luke 14:17 “And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.”
“To them that were bidden”: Guests for a wedding, which could last a full week, were pre-invited and given a general idea of the time. When all the many preparations were finally ready, the pre-invited guests were notified that the event would commerce. The pre-invited guests refer to the people of Israel, who by the Old Testament had been told to be ready for the arrival of the Messiah.
Jesus is spending extra time with this man, because He sees he has potential. This is really a parable about being called to God, but Jesus is using the occasion to prove a point about how shallow most of these people at this dinner really are.
Luke 14:18 “And they all with one [consent] began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.”
“Excused”: All the excuses smack of insincerity. One does not purchase property without seeing it first. And since the purchase was already complete, there was no urgency. The land would still be there after the banquet.
This is a little bit like the ridiculous excuses people give for not going to church. Not one of these excuses given is something that should keep a person from church or from this make-believe dinner party of the parable here. What does buying a piece of ground have to do with not being able to go to a dinner party?
Luke 14:19 “And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.”
Likewise (verse 19), one does not purchase oxen without first testing them.
Luke 14:20 “And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
The man who had recently married (verse 20), was excused from business travel, or serving in the military (Deut. 24:5), but there was no legitimate reason for newlyweds to avoid such a social engagement.
This reminds me of our day so much. Everything comes ahead of God. Just any little old excuse they think will get them excused.
2 Timothy 3:4 explains this perfectly. The last part of verse 4 says “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God”.
Luke 14:21 “So that servant came, and shewed 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 hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”
“The poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind”: I.e., people the Pharisees tended to regard as unclean or unworthy. The religious leaders condemned Jesus for His associations with prostitutes and tax collectors. (5:29-30; 15:1; Matt. 9:10-11; 21:31-32; Mark 2:15-16).
Jesus is telling this man that the Hebrews were invited into the kingdom first. When they refused the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, then God threw the doors open to whosoever would.
Luke 14:22 “And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.”
“And yet there is room”: God is more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved.
We see by this, that Jesus is correcting the opinion that heaven is a small place, just big enough for the Hebrews, or as some people believe today, just big enough for 144,000 people.
Heaven is a vast place big enough for every person who ever lived, but some who are invited refuse the invitation.
Luke 14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel [them] to come in, that my house may be filled.”
“Into the highways and hedges”: This evidently represents the Gentile regions.
“Compel them to come in”: I.e., not by force or violence, but by earnest persuasion.
This going out to the highways and hedges in the physical means go beyond our family and friends and go to the stranger. In the spiritual, this is speaking of going to those who are not the physical house of Israel. He is saying, if Israel won’t accept the invitation, then go to the heathen.
We see here, the word “compel”, which falls just a little short of force. He is saying bring them back without excuse for my house must be full. The Lord offered Christianity first to the Hebrew; and when they rejected him, He offered it to the Gentile.
Luke 14:24 “For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
“None of those men which were bidden”: I.e. those who refused. Having spurned the invitation, Israel was shut out of the banquet. The master’s judgment against them was to seal their own decision. Most of them were killed by divine judgment at the hands of the Romans in A.D. 70.
We see here, the same statement as when Jesus cursed the fig tree. God will not force himself on Israel. Since they have rejected Him, He turns to the Gentiles to fill the Father’s house.
Luke 14:25 “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,”
“Great multitudes”: Christ’s aim was not to gather appreciative crowds, but to make true disciples. He never adapted His message to majority preferences, but always plainly declared the high cost of discipleship. Here He made several bold demands that would discourage the half-hearted.
Luke 14:26 “If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
“Hate”: A similar statement (in Matt. 10:37), is the key to understanding this difficult command. The “hatred” called for here is actually a lesser love. Jesus was calling His disciple to cultivate such a devotion to Him that their attachment to everything else-including their own lives, would seem like hatred by comparison. See, (16:13; Gen. 29:30-31), for similar usages of the word “hate.”
What Jesus is saying, here, is that none of our family or even our own lives can be put ahead of Him. Our first love and obedience must be to God. We cannot make gods of our family or even of our own self.
Luke 14:27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
“Bear his cross”: I.e., willingly. This parallels the idea of hating one’s own life (in verse 26).
We see from this that each of us have a cross to bear. Our cross will not fit anyone but us. Every Christian has a cross made just exactly for the amount of growth we have. Today, we hear very little about suffering for Christ. Christianity is a way of life. Many believers would have you think that there are only pleasures following Jesus.
They have totally ignored Scriptures like the one above. Pleasing the flesh is the opposite of what the Scriptures teach. Even Paul was told by Jesus that He would show him the great things he would suffer for Jesus. You will find this in the book of Acts.
Acts 9:16 “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
In Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
We don’t hear much of this today. It is a time of “good times” religion. I seriously doubt God has much taste for this “new age” religion without sacrifice.
Luke 14:28-29 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?” “Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him,”
“Counteth the cost”: The multitudes were positive but uncommitted. Far from making it easy for them to respond positively, He set the cost of discipleship as high as possible (verses 26, 27, 33), and encouraged them to do a careful inventory before declaring their willingness to follow (9:57-62.
Before we make a commitment to God, we must first count the cost and make sure that we will be able to carry through. It is really best not to have come to God at all, than to start with the Lord and decide it is too rough and turn around and go the other way.
The world is looking. If we fail, it doesn’t just ruin us, but may even cause someone else not to come to God.
Luke 14:30 “Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
You see, our weakness affects others, especially if you are the one who led them to the Lord. If we compromise, they compromise. If we decide following Jesus is too hard and we turn our back, then they will perhaps say: if we can’t make it, I know I can’t; and they fall too.
Luke 14:31 “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?”
You see, the Christian walk is a continuous battle. The flesh is warring against the spirit. The way of the world is flesh. Sometimes the spirit has only us to battle all our family and friends.
The flesh call is great, as Eve found out in the Garden of Eden. The battle is to the death. Either the flesh succumbs to the spirit or the spirit succumbs to the flesh. Everlasting life is the prize of the victor if the spirit wins. Death and hell waits if the flesh wins.
Luke 14:32 “Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.”
This is compromise. God will not allow compromise. This is the very happening in our churches today. The world’s music and dance are coming into the church. Compromise means defeat for the spirit and leads to death and hell.
Luke 14:33 “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
“Forsaketh not all that he hath”: Only those willing to carefully assess the cost, (verses 28-32), and invest all they had in His kingdom were worthy to enter. This speaks of something far more than mere abandonment of one’s material possessions; it is an absolute, unconditional surrender.
His disciples were permitted to retain no privileges and make no demands. They were to safeguard no cherished sins; treasure no earthly possessions; and cling to no secret self-indulgences. Their commitment to Him must be without reservation.
You see again, here is Jesus’ own words that those who follow Jesus must give up the things of the flesh and live in the spirit. They must forsake all for Jesus.
Luke 14:34 “Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?”
“Salt is good”: Christ employed this same imagery on at least 3 different occasions in His ministry. The Beatitudes are followed by a summary statement of the basic character of the Christian’s life as salt and light. “Ye are the salt of the earth:” Again the phrase “ye are” indicates that only the genuinely born-again person is salt and can help meet the needs of the world.
Salt adds flavoring, acts as a preservative, melts coldness, and heals wounds. Thus, it is a very appropriate description of the believer in his relationship to the world in which he lives.
Salt is a preservative. Christians are a preservative. This earth would already have been destroyed, if it were not for the few Christians here. If the Christians fall away, what will happen to the earth? That is just exactly what is happening today. Watered down Christianity is taking over. If the Christians do not rise up a standard, then all is lost.
Luke 14:35 “It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; [but] men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
We see in this that unless the salt does the job it was intended to do; it is of no use to anyone and is cast out. The spiritual side of this is: if we Christians do not do the job that we have been called to do, we are of no use to God; and we will be cast out. What is your job? To do the will of the Father.
Luke Chapter 14 Continued Questions
1. Who is speaking in verse 14?
2. Who is He speaking to?
3. In verse 17, who did He say “come all things are ready” to?
4. What excuses did they make for not coming?
5. What do these excuses reminds us of in our day?
6. In 2 Timothy 3:4, what were the people lovers of?
7. If the first ones called would not come, who were next invited?
8. Who were the first to be invited to believe in Jesus and enter into the Kingdom?
9. When they refused, who did God throw the door open to?
10. What does the fact there was still room left show us about heaven?
11. In verse 23, what word stops just short of force?
12. ________ of these men bidden will taste of my supper.
13. What did Jesus mean by hating mother, father, and self in verse 26?
14. What must we do to be His disciple described in verse 27?
15. Christianity is a way of _____________.
16. What is the opposite of what the Scripture teaches that many believe today?
17. In Acts 9:16, Paul was told what?
18. If any man will follow Jesus, what must he do that we read in Matthew 16:24?
19. What did Jesus compare to a Christian who jumps in with no thought of the cost?
20. What is worse than not even committing to God?
21. How does our relationship with God affect others?
22. What must a king consider before he goes to war when he is outnumbered?
23. What is the war Christians are involved in?
24. What is peace at any cost, really?
25. If we do not _______ ______________, we cannot be His disciples.
26. What happens to salt that loses its savor?