Pride and hypocrisy will get shame and will at last have a fall, for the Master of the feast will marshal His guests and will not see the more honorable miss their due.
Many have been bidden to the great supper of Christ, and many there are who stay away on excuses of small concern. The ingratitude of those who slight the Gospel invitation is an abuse of His mercy, and grace despised is grace forfeited. God will however have a church in the world, though there be many who heed not the call.
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.
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
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?
6 And they could not answer him again to these things.
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,
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;
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.
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.
11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
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 recompence be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
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.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
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.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
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.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
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.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
25 ¶ And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
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.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
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?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
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?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
34 ¶ Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
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.
Luke 14:1-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Luke 14:7-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Luke 14:11-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Luke 14:16-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Luke 14:18-35 – J. Vernon McGee
Luke 14:1-6 – In verses 1-6 we have a specimen of Christ’s table-talk, which He continues through the Luke 14:24. Though He knew that He was being watched, nothing could stanch His power and love. If men care for their beasts, how much more will Christ care for men! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Luke 14:7-14 – Lessons for Guests and Hosts
We must, of course, guard against a false humility, which chooses a low seat in the hope of being invited forward. Let us seek it, because we are absolutely careless of prominence except as it gives us wider opportunity. The unconscious humility and meekness of a little child are very dear to Christ. Dwell on your own defects and on the excellencies of others till you realize that you are the least of all saints! Philippians 3:8.
Our Lord’s words about invitations to our houses strike at the root of much of the so-called hospitality of modern society. Did not our Lord intend His words to be interpreted literally? They are imperative in their tone. He probably meant what He said. Some of us get so much thanks down here that there will be very little left to come to us at the resurrection of the just, when we shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive our rewards, II Corinthians 5:10. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Luke 14:15-24 – The Slighted Invitation
In this parable the Master anticipated that the Jewish magistrates and leaders would repudiate His invitations, and that they would therefore be extended to the less likely masses to be found in the streets and lanes of the city, and to the Gentiles in the out-lying world. What a prevision is here of the suitableness of the gospel to all the world, and of the ultimate inclusion of all mankind under one roof, John 14:1-2.
The excuses were obviously trumped up and invalid. Men see fields before buying them; try oxen before purchase; and can take their wives where they go themselves, if they wish to do so. They who are acute enough for this world are often slow and careless about the next, though that is the only world which really matters.
If thou art poor, maimed, blind or lame, there is room for thee at God’s table; and for thee “a great spoil” shall be divided, Isaiah 33:23. —Through the Bible Day by Day
A soldier who went to the war took with him some of the small instruments of his craft – he was a watchmaker and repairer – thinking to make some extra shillings now and then while in camp. He did so. He found plenty of watches to mend, and almost forgot that he was a soldier. One day, when ordered off on some duty, he exclaimed, “Why, how can I go? I’ve got ten watches to mend!” Some Christians are so absorbed in self-seeking that they are ready to say to the Master’s call, “I pray thee have me excused!” They are nominally soldiers of Christ, but really only watch-menders.
Excuses are easily made. There is no action so trivial, no crime so great, but the selfish heart can frame an excuse for it. But are these excuses valid? Will our self-vindication absolve us at the judgment-seat of Christ? “God knoweth your hearts” (Luke 16:15). They are not even satisfactory to ourselves, – much less to God. Sinner, if you have a valid excuse for impenitence, write it out; nay, cast it in brass, hang it up in your house; delight in it, for it is your savior; and teach it to others, that they may share your joy. When you come to die, take it with you down into the grave; when the trump of God calls the dead to judgment, convey it to the throne, and show it to the Judge. If it will justify you in life, it will excuse you in eternity.
Luke 14:25-35 – The Cost of Discipleship
Here we have our Lord’s use of the winnowing-fan. Amid the teeming crowds He knew that there were many light and superficial souls who had not realized the cost involved in discipleship. Mark the thrice-repeated words–cannot be my disciple.
Our love must be greater than the ties of family affection, Luke 14:26; must be greater than our love for our own way, which must be nailed to the Cross, Luke 14:27; must be greater than our love of possessions and property, Luke 14:33. Christ has done more than any other teacher to cement the relationships of human love, but He always asks that they should be subordinated to the claims of God. Oh, for the love that Paul had! See Philippians 3:8.
What a comfort it is to realize that God counted the cost before He set about the task of redemption, whether of a world or of us as individuals. He knew all that it would cost, and surely He did not begin what He cannot complete! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Luke 14:26-27, 33 – ”He cannot be my disciple.”
Three times Christ repeats these solemn words (vs. 26, 27, 33); and it may be that earnest men have done injury to his cause, which they desired to serve, by omitting these stringent conditions in their Gospel invitations. It is quite true that whosoever will may come and take; that whosoever believeth in Him shall never perish; that the door of mercy stands open wide. But it is equally true that the faith that saves must pass such tests as these; and if it does not, it is not of the quality which can bear the soul through the swelling billows of the river of death. These three tests may be classified thus:–
Separation.—It sometimes happens in the disciple’s life that Christ’s work lies in one direction, the blessed ties of home lie in another. Tender voices call; loving hands reach out to hold him. Here the plough is waiting in its furrow; there the hearth with its tender memory and association. At such times, for the true man, there can be but one choice.
Crucifixion.—Every one has his own cross—some one thing in which the will of God crosses his will. Jesus made that cross, and bids us take it up and bear it after Himself. Yet how many evade it, flee from it, postpone it. They think they can follow Him apart from it; but it is impossible. We can only follow the Crucified when we bear each his own cross. And to shrink from it shows that we are not disciples.
Renunciation.—All we have must be gladly yielded when Christ asks for it. If the accumulation of a life be on one scale and Christ in the other, we must choose Christ, come what may to the rest, or we must abandon our title to discipleship. —Our Daily Homily