The setting of the first part of this chapter was the house of a prominent Pharisee who invited Jesus for a meal on the Sabbath. The Lord made use of the occasion and the theme of banquets to teach the people truths of God’s kingdom. In the second half of the chapter, which took place while the multitudes traveled with Jesus, the Lord turned His attention to those who wanted to be followers of Christ and taught them what true discipleship entails.
Did You Know...?
1. Dropsy (14:2): Abnormal accumulation of serous fluid in the tissues of the body.
2. Eat bread in the kingdom of God (14:15): Association of the future kingdom with a feast was common (13:29; Isa 25:6; Mt 8:11; 25:1-10; 26:29; Rev 19:9). [ref]
- Healing A Man with Dropsy on the Sabbath (14:1-6)
- Humility and Exaltation (14:7-11)
- Inviting the Needy (14:12-14)
- Parable of the Great Supper (14:15-24)
- Cost of Being A Disciple (14:25-35)
Did Jesus heal the man in order to incite His adversaries?Hide Answer
Although Jesus used the healing as an occasion to teach his adversaries, He healed the man with dropsy out of His concern and love for the man. The example of immediately pulling the fallen donkey or ox out of the pit on the Sabbath implies that the man’s need for healing was just as, if not more, urgent. It would not have been right to wait for another day to heal him. According to the Lord Jesus, refraining from saving lives is as evil as destroying lives (6:9).
How did the Lord silence His adversaries?Hide Answer
As in 13:15-16, the Lord exposed the hypocrisy of the lawyers and Pharisees, who did not hesitate to help a fallen livestock on the Sabbath but condemned helping the needy. Furthermore, Jesus demonstrated that just as the law permitted helping an animal on the Sabbath, it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath.
What were the people’s view of how to receive honor?Hide Answer
Exalting yourself (11).
According to Jesus, what is true honor?Hide Answer
How should we humble ourselves in terms of the way we view ourselves?Hide Answer
Jesus’ parable teaches us to view modestly of ourselves and take the lowly position. Humility begins with a proper view of ourselves (Rom 12:3). We ought to consider others better than ourselves (Php 2:3) and view ourselves as servants to all (Mk 9:35). Instead of thinking too highly of ourselves, we should let God evaluate us and grant us the honor (Jas 4:10; 1Pet 5:6).
Think of occasions in life where you can apply the teaching of this parable.
How is the teaching in this paragraph closely related to the previous paragraph?Hide Answer
The kind of people we associate with indicates how we view ourselves. It takes humility to invite the lowly and the needy (cf. Rom 12:16; Mt 18:2-5).
Compare the two different kinds of rewards mentioned here.Hide Answer
The reward from men is immediate but has little value. The reward from God in the future is much greater.
Who are “the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind” in your life? How can you apply the Lord’s teaching to them?
What led the man to say those words in verse 15?Hide Answer
After the Lord taught the people about honor and reward from God, this man realized that being able to enjoy the banquet in God’s kingdom is the greatest blessing. The banquet refers to God’s saving grace (cf. Isa 55:1-2) as well as the final banquet at the coming of Jesus Christ (Rev 19:7-9).
How is the gospel message like the invitation to a great banquet?
Comparing the three excuses in the parable with common excuses people use today, what are some reasons people turn down the invitation to God’s kingdom?
Do you sometimes also use these excuses to turn down God’s invitation to receive His blessings?
Why did the host become angry?Hide Answer
The refusal of the guests to attend the banquet was an insult to the host.
How does the man’s order to the servant in 21 and 23 apply to preaching to gospel?Hide Answer
1. The call to preach the gospel is urgent (notice the word “quickly” in 21). The time is short and there is still much room to be filled, we must make preaching our priority. 2. We must go and bring the gospel message to every corner, inviting everyone we meet to hear the salvation of Christ.
Who finally came to the banquet? What does this teach us about who will enter God’s kingdom?Hide Answer
See 21 and 23. The poor and outcasts may represent those who were regarded to have no place in God’s salvation plan (such as the Gentiles and “sinners”). Because those who knew the law of God rejected the salvation of Christ, the grace of God went to others instead.
List the things in this passage that are required of Jesus’ disciples.Hide Answer
They must hate their fathers, mothers, wives and children, brothers and sisters, and even their own lives (26). They must bear their cross and come after the Lord (27). They must count the cost and forsake all (28-33).
Explain the meaning of “hate” in verse 26.Hide Answer
The word “hate” is a relative term (cf. Rom 9:13). We are not to hate anyone (1Jn 2:9,11; 3:15; 4:20), including our enemies (Lk 6:35). It is also our Christian duty to provide for our family (1Tim 5:8). The Lord’s command does not promote hatred but teaches us that loving the Lord must always come before our love for our family and our personal needs.
Why is it necessary to “hate” our families and our lives to be a disciple?Hide Answer
Whenever serving Christ and the wishes of our family pose a conflicting demand, we need to sacrifice the wishes of our family to carry out the Lord’s will (cf. Lk 12:51-53). Likewise, we need to deny ourselves of our desires and ambitions because they are contrary to God’s will and undermine our motivation to serve God.
How should we bear our cross?Hide Answer
The man condemned to crucifixion would be forced to take up his cross. This command means being ready to go through suffering and death for Christ. It involves putting to death the sinful nature (Rom 8:1; Gal 5;24; 6:14).
How should we count the cost of being a disciple? Have you counted the cost?Hide Answer
We must know that following Christ takes total dedication. Only if we surrender ourselves completely to the will of Christ will we persist in our faith to the end.
What does it mean to forsake all? Have you forsaken all that you have for Christ?Hide Answer
Forsaking all means giving up the right of ownership. As disciples, we do not own our possessions, including our lives and bodies (1Cor 6:19). Since the Lord is the owner, we must use all that we have for Christ’s sake.
What kind of disciples are like salt that has lost its flavor?Hide Answer
They are the “unprofitable servants” who do not carry out the master’s will (Mt 25:30). Like the tasteless salt, such people will will be cast out.