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Luke Chapter 14:1-34  

Memory verses for this week:  Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 

Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 14.   Last week in our study, Jesus called the nation of Israel to repentance but few responded to His call.   Christ healed the woman in the synagogue on the Sabbath Day who had been infirmed for 18 years.  The ruler spoke out against Jesus for doing this on the Sabbath, and Jesus used it to teach us to do good on the Sabbath is both good and just.   We closed studying the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the leaven. 

I.  Jesus Heals on the Sabbath 

Luke 14:1  And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

Luke 14:2  And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. 

Many times we find Jesus being invited out for dinner.   This day, he was invited by one of the chief Pharisees on the Sabbath day.  It isn’t clear whether the man had a genuine interest in Christ and His message, or perhaps invited Jesus just due to his curiosity.   Like so many Pharisees, he may have invited him to find fault with Christ and to criticize His words and behavior.   Whatever the reason, Jesus does accept the invitation and goes to eat with the man.  It says that a man comes before him who had the dropsy. 

Luke 14:3  And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

Luke 14:4  And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;

Luke 14:5  And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

Luke 14:6  And they could not answer him again to these things. 

Jesus asks these lawyers of the law and the Pharisees two questions.  First, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?” and secondly, “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?”  It says on the first question, they head their peace, and Jesus healed the man and let him go.  On the second question, it says they could not answer him.   Just as Christ taught in last week’s lesson, it is always good to do good even on the Lord’s day.   God set aside a day of rest for us, and we should do our best to not labor on that day.  However, we are not commanded to stop doing good on these special days of rest.


II.  Parable of the Ambitious Quest 

Luke 14:7  And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,

Luke 14:8  When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

Luke 14:9  And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

Luke 14:10  But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

Luke 14:11  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

In this parable, Jesus is teaching that we should do as he had done for us.  Jesus has a name above all others, yet he came and suffered and was a servant to all men.   He was entitled to the highest place in heaven, yet he came and dwelt here on earth.   Jesus could have stayed with the Heavenly Father, but he lowered himself lower than the angels that he might come and save us.   After Christ rose from the tomb on that third day, He ascended into Heaven and now sits on the right hand of God.  There he sits as our mediator, the one who stands between man and God. 

Heb 10:9  Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Heb 10:10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb 10:11  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

Heb 10:12  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Heb 10:13  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

Luke 14:12  Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.

Luke 14:13  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

Luke 14:14  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 

Jesus tells us to exalt others and we will be pleasing to the Father.  Those who exalt self will be brought down.   He tells us to not just invite people to dinner who might return the favor, but rather call in the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind.  These people can’t return the favor, and when we do that, God will bless us.  These poor people will not recompense us for the things we do, and our unselfish efforts will honor God. 

Luke 14:15  And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 

Apparently one man at the meal was so excited and impressed, he exclaims “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”


III.  The Parable of the Great Supper 

Luke 14:16  Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

Luke 14:17  And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 

Jesus replies to the comment that the man makes in verse 15 as he presents this parable of the great supper.  Jesus shows that there are few who will come to the great supper of the many who are invited.  He sent out his servant and invited man to come because all things were ready to have the feast. 

Matthew Henry said this of this parable. 

In gracious invitation given us to come and partake of this provision. Here is, [1.] A general invitation given: He bade many. Christ invited the whole nation and people of the Jews to partake of the benefits of his gospel. There is provision enough for as many as come; it was prophesied of as a feast for all people, Isa. 25:6. Christ in the gospel, as he keeps a good house, so he keeps an open house. [2.] A particular memorandum given, when the supper time was at hand; the servant was sent round to put them in mind of it: Come, for all things are now ready. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel church planted, those who before were invited were more closely pressed to come in presently: Now all things are ready, the full discovery of the gospel mystery is now made, all the ordinances of the gospel are now instituted, the society of Christians is now incorporated, and, which crowns all, the Holy Ghost is now given. This is the call now given to us: "All things are now ready, now is the accepted time; it is now, and has not been long; it is now, and will not be long; it is a season of grace that will be soon over, and therefore come now; do not delay; accept the invitation; believe yourselves welcome; eat, O friends; drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved.’’  [i] 

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.

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.

Luke 14:20  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 

In the parable, one man after another has an excuse as to why he can not come.  This is the way men treat the gospel invitation.   Other things here on earth are more important to them than to heed the message and invitation of God.   Many view the privilege of a place at the great supper of salvation as not that important.   To them it means nothing and is a feast spread in vain.   Only when the Spirit of God penetrates the heart and conscience of a man or woman will they realize their condition and be willing to sit down at the gospel feast.  In verses 18-20, we fine 3 different men with 3 different excuses.  The first says he has bought some land and needs to go and see it.   How many of you ever bought some land without having first looked at it?   Not many would venture to be so careless with their money.  But this man wants to go and look at his land.  In verse 19, the second man want to go and prove his five yoke of oxen.   Another lame excuse for not wanting to attend.   Whatever we acquire in this life, most likely another day will come that we might prove that acquisition.  The third man says he has married a wife.   Perhaps his is the best excuse, but God wants first place in our lives.


J. Vernon McGee pointed out the 3 things that keep us from serving God. 

Why didn’t the man in verse 20 bring his wife with him and come to the dinner? His natural affection kept him away from the dinner. How many times I have heard a man say, “I don’t come to church because Sunday is the only day I can spend with my family.”

These things keep more people from God than anything else: possessions, business, and natural affection. How many people today are kept from God because of these things? Well, God has an engraved invitation for you. It is written in the blood of Jesus Christ and invites you to the great table of salvation.   [ii] 

Mat 19:29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Mat 19:30  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. 

Luke 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.


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.

Luke 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 

Nothing should be more important to us than our service to God.   Christ was not teaching that we turn away from our families to serve Him, but was pointing out that we have to be wholly given to God if we want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  A wife should not stand in the way of a man’s service to God, nor should a man prevent a woman from serving her savior. 

Luke 14:21  So that servant came, and showed 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. 

It says that when the servant came and told the master the news of all the people with excuses for not being able to come to the feast, it made him angry.   Does God ever get angry?   He most certainly does.  It says in Psalms that God is angry with the wicked every day. 

Psa 7:11  God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. 

The servant is given the command to go out into the streets and the by-ways and to invite the poor, and the maimed, the halt, and the blind to the feast.  After all of these are invited, it says there was still room. 

Luke 14:22  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

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.

Luke 14:24  For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. 

Just as there was still room for more to eat at the dinner table, there is always room for sinners to come and be saved.   Christ’s shed blood there on Calvary was sufficient to save every man and woman from their sins.  But God does not force salvation upon anyone.   He offers and bids us to come as the master did here in the parable.  But we must decide to come and partake of the gift of salvation.  The servant in this parable typifies the Holy Spirit.  It is He who draws men to the Lord. 

1 Cor 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Cor 2:11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1 Cor 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Cor 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Cor 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.


IV.  Discipleship is Again Tested 

Luke 14:25  And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

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.

Luke 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 

I explained this earlier not realizing the verses I quoted were in this chapter.  But to cover it again, our Lord is dealing with the responsibility of discipleship.  He is not telling how the lost sinner may be saved, nor is he talking about a high cost for salvation.  Salvation is a free gift.  To be a disciple has its costs.   When Jesus speaks of hating our father, mother, sister, and brother, and his won life, he is not instructing us to have ill feelings toward our family.   He is teaching that divine love should be greater than family love.   Put God first, and then others.   So many times, we put family before God, and that is not the proper order.   What we must recognize is what it says in verse 27.   We MUST bear our cross daily if we want to be Christ’s disciple.   And the cross always speaks of death.  Putting the old man, the physical man down is what pleases God.   Walking in the newness of life of the Spirit is what God wants us to do.


V.  Parable of the Tower 

Luke 14:28  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Luke 14:29  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

Luke 14:30  Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 

Anyone who sets out to build a tower or a building, who knows anything at all about things, is going to set down and figure out how much it will cost.  If he isn’t smart enough to do that, it says that others will mock him when he lays the foundation and can’t finish the project.    We as Christians need to stop and count the cost of being a faithful servant of God.  If we live Godly, the bible says we WILL suffer persecution.   If they killed our master, we as servants can’t expect to be treated with kid gloves.   Moses was a man who was a true servant of the Lord, and it says in Hebrews that he counted the cost. 

Heb 11:24  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

Heb 11:25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Heb 11:26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

Heb 11:27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Heb 11:28  Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Heb 11:29  By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.


VI.  Parable of the King Going to War 

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?

Luke 14:32  Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

Luke 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

Jesus wars that if a king sets out to battle another king, and does not consider whether he be able to win the battle, he is not wise.  The Christian is in spiritual warfare today.   Many walk around as if nothing is going on, but the Devil is raging war for our minds and our families today.   We had better recognize that without God’s help, we can’t win this battle.   God has given us plenty of weapons if we are smart enough to equip ourselves for the battle we face. 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


VII.  Parable of Salt without Savour

Luke 14:34  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

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 have a solemn warning in these last two verses.  If we want to be a true disciple of the Lord, we have to have perseverance.  We have to keep on and keep our salt pure and clean.   It says if we are not careful, we can lose our savour and not be fit to be used.   When salt lost it’s capacity to be true salt with a flavor, they used it on the highways to firm up the roadways in the days of old.  It says if we lose our salt, we become unfit, we are not even worthy for the dunghill.   We need to be people who are ‘worth their salt.’


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.