Luke 14.1-35 tells us about a healing on the Sabbath at the home of a Pharisee, his midrashic aggadot about invited guests taking seas of honor; inviting the poor and crippled and blind to be guests to a banquet, not just relatives or friends; and the test for true discipleship and the cost.
v 1…And it came about when he went into the house of one of the leaders (from Beit Shammai) of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, that they (others were there) were watching him closely (in order to take advantage of him).
v 2…And there, in front of him was a certain man suffering from dropsy (a heart illness causing water accumulation in parts of the body).
v 3…And Yeshua answered (meaning to begin a discourse; he knew why he was there and what he was going to do), saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not (according to Beit Shammai, no; but Beit Hillel said it was permissible)?”
v 4…But they kept silent (because the Torah did not forbid it, and now was their chance to defend their doctrine). And he took hold of him (touched him to show the healing was from Yeshua), and healed him (if Yeshua can dry up the sea with his word, he can dry up the small amount of water this man had in his body), and sent him away.
v 5…And he said to them, “Which one of you shall have a donkey or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”
v 6…And they could make no supply to this (because to Torah requires the righteous to show compassion and mercy to mankind and their animals-Deut 22.4).
v 7…And he began speaking a parable (midrashic aggadah) to the invited guests when he noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor (at the table-Beit Shammai had a habit of this-Matt 23.6), saying to them,
v 8…”When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor (have humility), lest someone more distinguished more than you may have been invited by him (this was the belief of Beit Hillel),
v 9…and he who invited you both shall come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man’; and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.
v 10…But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place (this was the mindset of Beit Hillel, contrary to Beit Shammai who were seen as “pushy”), so that when the one who has invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.
v 11…For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted (Prov 15.33; Jam 4.6).”
v 12…And he went on to say to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors (alluding to those from Beit Shammai), lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come back to you,
v 13…But when you give a reception invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind (this story alludes to the fact that Beit Shammai was totally against the kingdom of God going out to the non-Jews-v 23; Beit Hillel taught that they were welcome; this concept will be illustrated in the next midrashic aggadah in v 16-24),
v 14…and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
v 15…And when one of those who were reclining at the table with him heard this, he said to him (Yeshua), “Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God (be welcomed in it)!”
v 16…But he said to him, “A certain man (Yehovah) was giving a big dinner (alludes to the wedding feast, a meal consecrated to God or a Lord’s Supper); and he invited many (the call of the basar, or gospel, came to Israel first).
v 17…And at the dinner hour he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come for everything is ready now (the kingdom is here now and being offered).’
v 18…But they all alike began to make excuses (never valid; disobeying God’s call-John 1.11, 5.40). The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land (not evil in itself) and I need to go out and look at it (who buys land without looking at it first); please consider me excused.’
v 19…And another one said, ‘I have bought five yokes of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused (his priorities were wrong-Matt 6.21)!
v 20…And another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come (no earthly ground of excuses justified the rejection of God’s calling).’
v 21…And the servant came back and reported this to his master (John 1.11-12). Then the head of the household became angry (at their hard hearts) and said to his servant, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city signifies God’s elect among the Jews; to the Jew first) and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’
v 22…And the servant said, ‘Master, what you have commanded has been done, and still there is room (there is always enough room in the kingdom).”
v 23…And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges (outside of the city, meaning God’s elect in the non-Jewish world; the non-Jews were welcomed into the kingdom by Beit Hillel; but not Beit Shammai, without becoming Jewish through ritual circumcision; the Jews were invited into the kingdom first, then the non-Jews-Rom 1.16) and compel them to come in (the kingdom, God’s rule and movement in action and power confronting you) that my house may be filled.
v 24…For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner (the wedding supper in the kingdom-Matt 8.11.”
v 25…Now great multitudes (some curious, some anxious, some believed, etc) were going along with him; and he turned and said to them (to sift the multitude out of the uncommitted, unreliable, lazy, slackers, phonies, etc).
v 26…”If anyone comes to me (and wants to be a talmid/student) and does not hate (by comparison of his love for me) his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my talmid.
v 27…Whoever does not carry his cross (their own afflictions and persecutions; to carry a cross means you are under a death sentence, and to such, the affairs of this life have little concern) and come after me cannot be my talmid.
v 28…For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower (symbolic of reaching for heavenly things, take up a profession of faith), does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it (the people were interested in Yeshua but uncommitted; rather than making it easy to respond favorably, Yeshua presents a “high standard for a talmid, and advised them to count the cost before following him).
v 29…Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it began to ridicule him,
v 30…saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish (don’t start something you can’t finish).’
v 31…Or what king, when he sets to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand (Prov 11.14-there is safety in many counselors).
v 32…Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace (looks for alternatives; makes a plea for peace negotiations).
v 33…So therefore, no one of you can be my talmid who does not forsake all that he has (makes family, companions, material things, lands, fame secondary to being a talmid).
v 34…Therefore salt is good (Matt 5.13); but if even salt has become tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned (if men lose the truth, what can replace it-salt halts corruption and is used in a new birth (Ezek 16.4), gives flavor, used against germs and is an antiseptic and cleans the pores; used on slippery surfaces; there is a salt covenant-Lev 2.13; Num 18.18; Col 4.6-it speaks of perpetuity of the Torah and covenant at Sinai)?
v 35…It is useless for the soil (can’t plant it) or for the manure piles (can’t fertilize the land); it is thrown out. He who has an ear (to perceive truth), let him hear (be instructed).”
Leave a Reply