The gospel of Luke is admired as one of the most beautifully written works of the Bible in its original Greek language. In English we lose the effect of his poetic style, but we glean the attributes of Jesus that Luke includes in his gospel account. As a medical doctor, Luke is very orderly and detailed in his writings as well, which help us to learn more about Jesus as we read. As we get to know Jesus in Luke chapter 14, I love that Luke includes this passage where Jesus goes to eat with Pharisees on the Sabbath. Rarely do we see Jesus and the Pharisees eating together in a close and personal environment, but it reveals the character of Jesus so well. Though most of the Pharisees hated Jesus and constantly instigated quarrels with Him regarding Jewish law, Jesus willingly went to eat with them. He didn’t hold a grudge, he didn’t bring up in His mind future thoughts of them murdering Him (which He probably could have), nor did He shut them out of his life because of what they spoken about him. His heart was no less burdened for their redemption than it was for His disciples. What humility and grace Jesus portrayed in mingling with the very people who would soon hand Him over to death, all for the sake of extending God’s hope for humanity to all people. May we learn from His example and show everyone the same kind of compassion that Jesus showed, even to those we may be hesitant to engage with. Also, I love that Jesus is an observer. Everywhere He goes, His eyes are on alert. Watching behaviors. Watching reactions. Noticing his surroundings. Noticing people. In a room full of Pharisees, I would think the room would be rather tense and uncomfortable at the start of a humility lecture, but not to Jesus! As the passage progresses, Jesus boldly begins speaking about the importance of assuming lowly places and giving preference to others . No question this was troubling content for a group of men whose sole purpose in life was to gain honor and status via their religious duties. But ultimately, Jesus wasn’t trying to shame them. He wasn’t trying to make them feel bad for the way they practiced life. He just wanted to renew their perspective of what it meant to please God. To Jesus, humility precedes honor and humility brings exaltation. This was completely counter-cultural. But Jesus called them to abandon the social norms of their day to follow the norms of a coming kingdom. The kingdom of God. And as He goes on in this chapter, He talks about what it means to follow Him while challenging them to consider the cost. May we read Luke 14 while getting to know the Jesus who approaches us lovingly so that we might humble ourselves, follow Him and count the cost of such devotion. It doesn’t matter who we are or what position in life we may be assuming. Christ calls us to follow Him just the same. It is up to us to consider His words.
Summary: Luke 14
Jesus goes to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees on the Sabbath; the Pharisees watch Jesus carefully; a sick man is present; Jesus asks the Pharisees if it is lawful or not to heal on the Sabbath; they remain silent; Jesus heals the man and sends him away; Jesus compares healing on the Sabbath to pulling a son or ox out of a well on the Sabbath; they do not reply to Jesus; Jesus tells a parable about individuals taking various seats of honor at a wedding feast; Jesus teaches them to sit in the lowest place rather than the place each thinks he deserves; Jesus teaches them to not invite people they know to a dinner or social gathering, but those they don’t know so that they cannot repay the host; one reclining at the table exclaims that the kingdom of God must be a place of blessing for those who will eat bread there; Jesus tells a parable of a banquet with invited guests (who reject the invitation) and uninvited guests (who are then brought into the banquet); Jesus teaches them what it will cost them to become his disciple, saying that one should hate his family in comparison with their love for Him, and must bear his own cross; Jesus exhorts them to count the cost of following Him before they make the decision.
Jesus in Luke 14
Jesus eats with one of the rulers of the Pharisees on the Sabbath (v. 1)
Jesus is watched closely by the religious elite (v. 1)
Jesus already notices that there is a man present who needs healing (v. 3)
Jesus asks the Pharisees their opinion about something He already knows the answer to (v. 3)
Jesus is bold (v. 3)
Jesus illuminates the contents of our hearts (v. 3)
Jesus is in control of the situation (v. 3)
Jesus touches the sick man (v. 4)
Jesus heals the sick man (v. 4)
Jesus let’s him go (v. 4)
Jesus prioritizes engaging with hurting people (v. 4)
Jesus asks the Pharisees a practical question (v. 5)
Jesus wants us to realize that people are more important than keeping rules (v. 5)
Jesus stumps the religious elite (v. 6)
Jesus notices the positions we take in life; relationally, occupationally, hierarchically (v. 7)
Jesus calls out pride and selfishness when He sees it (v. 7)
Jesus instructs us to not sit in the best places (v. 7)
Jesus emphasizes humility over entitlement (v. 8)
Jesus’ teachings are counter cultural (v. 8)
Jesus rejects social norms (v. 8)
Jesus warns us against taking a position of superiority that we do not deserve (v. 9)
Jesus endorses humility (v. 10)
Jesus appreciates humility (v. 10)
Jesus will humble those who exalt themselves (v. 11)
Jesus will exalt those who humble themselves (v. 11)
Jesus encourages us to host those who cannot repay us (v. 12)
Jesus wants us to be hospital to those outside our usual circle of friends (v. 12)
Jesus entreats us to serve the poor (v. 13)
Jesus says we will be rewarded at the resurrection of the just (v. 14)
Jesus’ words excite hearts to a joyful response (v. 15)
Jesus tells a parable (v. 16-24)
Jesus invites those to the banquet who were once not invited (v. 21-24)
Jesus reminds us that we must hate all other relationships in comparison to our love for Him (v. 26)
Jesus demands complete loyalty (v. 26)
Jesus wants all or nothing from us (v. 26)
Jesus calls us to bear our cross to be His disciple (v. 27)
Jesus’ requirements for following him are serious (v. 26-27)
Jesus loves us too much to let Him be anything but 1st in our lives (v. 26-27)
Jesus calls us to follow Him no matter the cost (v. 27)
Jesus explains to us the significance of counting the cost (v. 28 & 31-32)
Jesus doesn’t want half-hearted commitment (v. 28)
Jesus wants us to finish what we start (v. 28-29)
Jesus tells us clearly that we cannot be His disciple if we don’t forsake all (v. 33)
Jesus talks of salt losing its flavor (v. 34)
Jesus doesn’t want us to be like ones who lose their flavor, or their zeal for God (v. 34-35)
Jesus says that tasteless salt will be thrown out (v. 35)
Jesus wants us to understand that our decision of “all or nothing” determines if we will be salty or not, loyal or not, fruitful or not ( v. 35)
“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33
Questions for Today:
- Am I engaging in conversation with those outside of my circle of friends?
- How can I humble myself before God in the way that I live?
- Do I notice others when they have a need?
- What does my love for the Lord look like in comparison with my other relationships?
- What next step is Jesus asking me take in my relationship with Him today?