Luke 14: Humility and Hospitality

Why did Jesus persist in healing people on the Sabbath?

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Luke 14:1–6 On a Sabbath, Jesus went to eat at the home of a prominent Pharisee. The people watched Jesus closely. Sure enough, right in front of him was a man suffering from badly swollen arms and legs.
Jesus turned to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. “Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath?”
No one said a word.
Jesus touched the man, healed him, and sent him away.
 He turned to the guests and repeated why it was necessary to work on the Sabbath. “If one of you had an ox or donkey that fell into a pit, wouldn’t you immediately pull it out, even on the Sabbath?”
Again, no one dared answer.
King James
Luke 14:1–6 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. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; 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? And they could not answer him again to these things.

Why will those who seek greatness be humbled while others will be exalted?

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Luke 14:7–11 After noticing how some of the guests had sought the seats of highest honor, he said, “When you arrive at a wedding feast, do not take a seat of honor. A more distinguished person might have been invited. Your host would say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ In shame, you would have to take the lowest seat. Instead, go to the lowest seat first. Then when your host says, ‘Friend, move to this higher place,’ you will be honored before the other dinner guests. Those who try to make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
King James
Luke 14:7–11 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, 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; 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. 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. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

How can people be blessed by giving to those who have nothing to offer in return?

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Luke 14:12–14 Jesus turned to his host. “When you serve the morning or evening meal, do not just invite friends, relatives, and rich neighbors who will return the favor. When you spread a feast, invite the poor, handicapped, lame, and blind. You will be blessed because they have nothing from which they can repay you. When the righteous are raised from the dead, you will be rewarded.”
King James
Luke 14:12–14 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. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Why would people make excuses, not wanting to a banquet that Jesus was serving?

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Luke 14:15–24 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table said, “Blessed is the man who eats at the feast in the Kingdom of God.”
“A man once planned a huge banquet,” Jesus said, “and invited many guests. The hour arrived when everyone should come. He sent his servant to tell them, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ One after another, they made excuses. One person said, ‘I’ve just bought a piece of land and must go to see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have purchased five teams of oxen and need to see how they plow. Please accept my apologies.’ Someone else said, ‘I just got married. I am sorry, I cannot come.’ When the servant returned with the messages, the host was furious. ‘Quick!’ he told the servant. ‘Go into the city streets and alleys and bring in the poor, handicapped, lame, and blind.’ Soon afterward, the servant said, ‘Master, I did what you commanded, and there is still room.’ ‘Then go into the country lanes and shaded hedge rows,’ the host said. ‘Urge people to come. I want my house to be full. I assure you, none of those I first invited will get even a taste of my banquet.'”
King James
Luke 14:15–24 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. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 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. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 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. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 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. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Why does following Jesus require forsaking everything else?

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Luke 14:25–27 Jesus turned to the large crowd that followed him. “Any man who follows me must be willing to forsake father and mother, wife, brothers and sisters, and children. You must even be willing to give up your own life, or you cannot be my disciple. Those who will not take up their cross and follow in my footsteps cannot be my disciples.”
King James
Luke 14:25–27 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 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. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

What leads people to start things that are never finished?

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Luke 14:28–30 “If you were going to build a tower, wouldn’t you first sit down and calculate the cost, to be sure you had the resources to complete it? Otherwise, you might finish the foundation but not have enough to continue. Others would see your failure and laugh at you, saying, ‘See that fool? He started to build the tower but was not able to finish.'”
King James
Luke 14:28–30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Why do people fight battles they cannot possibly win? What does that have to do with following Jesus?

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Luke 14:31–33 “What king would ever plan war without first sitting down with his captains to determine whether his ten thousand soldiers could defeat the twenty thousand coming against him? If not, while the opposing forces were still far away, he would send an ambassador to negotiate conditions for peace. Likewise, if you are not ready to give up everything you have, you cannot be my disciple.”
King James
Luke 14:31–33 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? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

What does the value of salt have to do with our lives?

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Luke 14:34–35 “Salt is good seasoning, but if it loses its saltiness, how will you make it any good? Because it has no use, either for food or fertilizer, you would throw it away. If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying.”
King James
Luke 14:34–35 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 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.