And it came to pass, when he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching him. 2 And before him was a certain man that had the dropsy. 3 And Jesus answering spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not? 4 But they held their peace. And he took him and healed him, and let him go. 5 And he said to them: Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately draw him up on a Sabbath day? 6 And they could not answer these things.
Teaching about humility
7 And when he noted how they chose out the chief seats, he told a parable to those that were invited, saying to them: 8 When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not sit in the chief seat; lest a more honourable man than you be invited by him, 9 and he that invited you shall come and say to you: Give this man your place. Then you shall be shamed into taking the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place; that when he that has invited you comes, he may say to you: Friend, go up higher. Then shall you have glory in the presence of all that sit to eat with you. 11 For everyone that exalts himself shall be humbled, and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
12 And he also said to him that had invited him: When you make a dinner or a supper, call not your friends, nor your brothers and sisters, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbours, unless they also invite you and repay you. 13 But when you make a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, 14 and you shall be blessed; because they do not have anything to repay you with. For you shall be recompensed in the resurrection of the just.
The parable of the great supper
15 And when one of his dinner guests heard these things, he said to him: Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God! 16 But he said to him: A certain man made a great supper and he invited many. 17 And he sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were invited: Come. For everything is now ready. 18 And they all began to make similar excuses. The first said to him: I have bought a field and I need to go out and see it; I pray you excuse me. 19 And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to test them. I pray you, have me excused. 20 And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore, I cannot come. 21 And the servant came and told his master 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 here the poor and maimed and blind and lame. 22 And the servant said: Master, what you did command is done, and still there is room. 23 And the master said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you, that none of those men that were invited shall taste my supper.
25 Now there went with him great crowds; and he turned and said to them: 26 If anyone comes to me, and hates not his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have enough to complete it? 29 Unless, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish it, all that watch begin to mock him, saying: 30 This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel, whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassador and asks conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whoever of you does not renounce all that he has, cannot be my disciple.
34 Salt therefore is good, but if the salt has lost its taste, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 It is useful neither for the soil nor for the manure heap, it is thrown away. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
14:10 We are to take the lowest place in the ecclesia / church. Jesus is the one who invited us (v. 9), and He will “come” and inspect us at His return. And He will re-arrange the order at which we sit at table. Our breaking of bread services are foretastes of our eating with Jesus at His return. We should take the lowest place in those meetings, at least in our hearts; aware of our own failings, and seeing our brothers and sisters positively and with grace.
14:13 The poor, maimed, lame and blind are the very ones whom God invites to His supper (v. 21). The connection is clear enough- we are to act to others as God does to people; and He has a way of inviting the most desperate people into fellowship with Him. Snobbery should have no part in Christian life. We are the spiritually poor and handicapped street people whom God has invited into His Kingdom in these last days. That’s what v. 21 teaches. And so we ought to invite such people into our homes- with all the problems that can bring. There should be no sense of social superiority at all in the true church. This is utterly abhorrent to God.
14:18 The man begs Jesus to ‘excuse’ him. The New Testament is written in Greek, and we read through the mask of translation. The same Greek word translated ‘excuse’ here is also translated ‘reject’ elsewhere. Those who are rejected at the last day will have begged Jesus to reject them by their behavior in this life. He will only confirm them in their choices. If more than anything else we want to be in God’s Kingdom; then we will.
14:23 The implication could be that as the last days progress and the return of Christ becomes imminent, the standard of those accepted will decrease; only the absolutely desperate [in whatever way- not just materially] will be responding to the Gospel. We who have responded in what appear to be the last days are therefore a desperate lot indeed.
14:31 The King who comes against us with far more strength is God; coming in judgment of our sins. Sin is serious, and isn’t just ignored by God with a grin. It is a felt offence against Him, that provokes His wrath. We make peace with Him, we are reconciled, through the work and sacrifice of Jesus.