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Luke Chapter Fourteen


I. Content of the Chapter


The Teachings and Warnings of the Son of Man the Savior

I. Concerning the rest again (v.1-6).

II. Concerning the attendance in the kingdom of God:

  A. The humble ones are exalted (v.7-11).

  B. Do not invite those who are rich in this life (v.12-14).

  C. We partake in the feast of the kingdom of God because of God’s unlimited grace (v.15-24).

III. Concerning the price of the Lord’s disciples:

  A. Love the Lord more than everything (v.25-26).

  B. Bear one’s cross and come after the Lord (v.27).

  C. The parables of building a tower and making war------one has to count the cost first (v.28-33).

  D. The parable of the salt that has lost its flavor------the miserable ending of one who gives up halfway (v.34-35).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Luke. 14:1 “Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

   YLT: “And it came to pass, on his going into the house of a certain one of the chiefs of the Pharisees, on a sabbath, to eat bread, that they were watching him,”

   Meaning of Words: “watched closely”: inspect alongside, watch carefully.

   The Background: “eat bread on the Sabbath” Men cannot work on the Sabbath and therefore the meal should have been prepared the previous day.

   Literal Meaning: “that they watched Him closely.” It indicated that they, with ill intentions, wanted to find something to accuse the Lord (See Mark. 3:2).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Pharisees invited the Lord to eat bread in order to watch Him closely. The world always hides ill intentions behind the friendly appearance (See Ps. 41:9).

2) The Lord was fully aware that the Pharisees invited Him to eat bread again and again (See 7:36; 11:37-38) with malicious intentions. However, He was not cowardly at all and faced it calmly. On one hand, it shows that He does not escape the reality and on the other, it displays that He is able to seize every chance of working and He takes the initiative to sally against the enemy.


Luke. 14:2 “And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.

   YLT: “and lo, there was a certain dropsical man before him;”

   Literal Meaning: “who had dropsy” “dropsy” indicates the internal swelling and dropsy, showing that some internal organs of this man (such as the liver, the pancreas and etc) were ill. In the Greek the word is the medical term and it is only used here in the New Testament.

   Spiritual Meaning: “had dropsy” It symbolizes that the swelling of one’s heart and he is arrogant and supercilious. This one who had dropsy just typifies the lawyers and the Pharisees (v.3).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who think that they know the Bible very well and actually they only know the superficial knowledge and do not know the quintessence of the Bible, as he lawyers and the Pharisees, do have the dropsy of heart.

2) If a man has dropsy, he is able to be aware of his illness. However, it is difficult for the one who has the dropsy of heart to know it.


Luke. 14:3 “And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’”

   YLT: “and Jesus answering spake to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, `Is it lawful on the sabbath-day to heal?’”

   Meaning of Words: “heal”: wait upon menially, warm.

   The Background: according to the teachings of the Jewish rabbis, unless men were dying, men could not “heal men on the Sabbath” because they thought that healing was against the regulation that one could not work on the Sabbath.

   Literal Meaning: “to heal on the Sabbath” It is the fifth time in this book to record that the Lord Jesus did wonders on the Sabbath (See 4:31, 38; 6:6; 13:14).

  “Is it lawful?” The Lord Jesus has already detected their bad intentions and He pre-empted to ask this question on purpose.


Luke. 14:4 “But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.

   YLT: “and they were silent, and having taken hold of [him], he healed him, and let [him] go;”

   Literal Meaning: “they kept silent.” Though they kept silent, it did not indicate that they were aware of their wrongness. They took an attitude to look on it coldly.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Many people “keep silent” and it does not mean that they admit their defeat. When believers preach the glad tidings, they should never think that they could make him be saved as long as they win the argument. Because many people pretend to be convinced. 

2) Though the suitable speech is needed to preach the glad tidings (See Col. 4:3-4), the most important thing is to manifest the power of life as the Lord Jesus------“healed him”.


Luke. 14:5 “Then He answered them, saying, Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?’”

   YLT: “and answering them he said, `Of which of you shall an ass or ox fall into a pit, and he will not immediately draw it up on the sabbath-day?’”

   The Background: the law of the Sabbath is set up both for men and cattle (See Deut. 5:14). “Donkey” is “son” in the hand-written copy. The son represents human beings and an ox represents cattle. It is allowed by the Law of Moses to pull a man or an ox out of a pit on the Sabbath day. However, it is condemned by the traditions of rabbis (men’s additional explanations to the Law) to heal on the Sabbath.

   Literal Meaning: the question of the Lord Jesus discloses the weak points of the Pharisees: 1) they care about the safety of cattle more than that of men; 2) they are hypocritical and they take different attitudes towards different people: they are strict with others and lenient towards themselves.


Luke. 14:6 “And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

   YLT: “and they were not able to answer him again unto these things.”

   Literal Meaning: they have nothing to say in reply because their attitude towards the Sabbath is against both the will of God and the nature of men. 


Luke. 14:7 “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

   YLT: “And he spake a simile unto those called, marking how they were choosing out the first couches, saying unto them,”

   Literal Meaning: “they chose the best places” “the best places” indicate the most important places that are commonly kept for those with the highest positions.

   Spiritual Meaning: “He noted how they chose the best places” “Choosing the best places” means being supercilious, showing that they are arrogant and they have the swelling of heart------dropsy (See v.2).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The greatest temptation of the leaders of the assembly is from their inner hearts------they like to be held high by men and show off their importance among people.

2) Those who care about their titles and positions in the assembly could not serve the Lord well.

3) Religious believers like to show off themselves. They give alms, bear witness, serve, preach, write books and do other spiritual good works. However, probably the motives of many are for the vain glory.


Luke. 14:8When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;

   YLT: “`When thou mayest be called by any one to marriage-feasts, thou mayest not recline on the first couch, lest a more honourable than thou may have been called by him

   Literal Meaning: the Lord Jesus taught men to humble themselves and learn to hide themselves by the parable.

   Enlightenment in the Word: Believers should not covet the vain glory and should in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself (Pill. 2:3).


Luke. 14:9 “and he who invited you and him come and say to you, Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

   YLT: “and he who did call thee and him having come shall say to thee, Give to this one place, and then thou mayest begin with shame to occupy the last place.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) God resists the proud (James. 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5). Whoever is arrogant will be humiliated sooner or later and descended into the lowest.

2) One should not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3).


Luke. 14:10 “But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.

   YLT: “`But, when thou mayest be called, having gone on, recline in the last place, that when he who called thee may come, he may say to thee, Friend, come up higher; then thou shalt have glory before those reclining with thee;”

   Literal Meaning: the Lord Jesus does not teach us to pretend to be humble and wait to be held high by others. He teaches us not to clear up for ourselves and be at ease and let it be manifested by the environment of God’s arrangement.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In the assembly believers should let each esteem others better than himself (Pill. 2:3). God gives grace to the humble (James. 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5) and He exalts the lowly (See 1:52).

2) The base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence (1Cor. 1:28-29).

3) Those who are truly humble and think that they are unworthy really empty themselves and are ready to be filled by God’s abundant grace. God’s fullness and glory will be manifested in this kind of men.


Luke. 14:11 “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’”

   YLT: “because every one who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbling himself shall be exalted.’”

   Literal Meaning: “he who humbles himself will be exalted” “Humble himself” indicates the modest attitude and it does not mean the self-abasement of one’s personality.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord Jesus, being equal with God, humbled Himself and came in the likeness of men (Pill. 2:6-7). However, the devil, the angel that is created by God, exalts itself to be equal with God (See Is. 14:12-14). Therefore humbleness is the disposition of the Lord Jesus and arrogance is the nature of the devil. Believers should hate to exalt themselves in everything and humble themselves to let the life of the Lord Jesus be manifested through them.

2) “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled.” It is the track of the fall of Satan; “who humbles himself will be exalted.” It is the way of Christ to gain glory.

3) The more one has been dealt with by cross, the more glory will he have. Conversely, the more natural part one has, the more will he be despised.


Luke. 14:12 “Then He also said to him who invited Him, When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

   YLT: “And he said also to him who did call him, `When thou mayest make a dinner or a supper, be not calling thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kindred, nor rich neighbours, lest they may also call thee again, and a recompense may come to thee;”

   Literal Meaning: “your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors” They indicate those who are affordable to give a return banquet and repay them.

  Controversial Clarification: believers are not forbidden by the Lord to invite our friends, our brothers, our relatives nor rich neighbors in order to improve the interpersonal relationship (especially for their profits). He warns us not to do so with the aim of the exchange of interests (i.e. for our own profits).


Luke. 14:13 “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

   YLT: “but when thou mayest make a feast, be calling poor, maimed, lame, blind,”

   Literal Meaning: “the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind” are those who are not affordable to give a return banquet and repay them.

   Spiritual Meaning: “the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind” please see the spiritual meaning in v.21. Giving a feast and inviting them mean to sympathize with others in their weakness and helplessness. On one hand they share the pain with them and on the other they give joy to them.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers should help the weak and the poor. They should also remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts. 20:35).

2) Actually it is our God that “invites the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind” (See v.21) and only He Himself could do this. Here the Lord teaches us that we should let this mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus (Pill. 2:5).

3) Those who do not care about the bitterness of others will be condemned because judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy and mercy triumphs over judgment (See James. 2:13).

4) Only through the behaviors of loving others could men comprehend the meaning of loving God. The reward of the kingdom of God is given to those who serve others willingly and do not look to the repayment.


Luke. 14:14 “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.’”

   YLT: “and happy thou shalt be, because they have not to recompense thee, for it shall be recompensed to thee in the rising again of the righteous.’”

   Literal Meaning: “at the resurrection of the just” “the just” indicates those who have been justified by God because they have received the salvation of Christ.

  There shall be a resurrection of all (See Acts. 24:15). However, the resurrection of the just and that of the common people are different. The former shall resurrect and gain reward and the latter shall resurrect and be punished (See Dan. 12:2; John. 5:28-29). “At the resurrection of the just” indicates the time when the Lord comes back (See 1Thess. 4:16) and God rewards the Saints (See Rev. 11:18).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Whoever walks with the aim of others’ repayment shall not be rewarded by God (See Matt. 6:1-3). Those who seek the pleasure of soul shall not gain the joy of the spirit again.

2) When believers do something, we should not hope to gain both the earthly and heavenly repayment. Therefore we should walk only with the aim of the heavenly reward.


Luke. 14:15 “Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!’”

   YLT: “And one of those reclining with him, having heard these things, said to him, `Happy [is] he who shall eat bread in the reign of God;’”

   Literal Meaning: “when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things” “These things” indicates the words of the Lord Jesus that “you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (See v.14).

  “Eating bread in the kingdom of God” indicates God’s “repayment” that He gives a great supper and invites those who have invited the poor and so on (See v.13).

   “Blessed” is the answer to the words of the Lord Jesus that “you will be blessed” (v.14).

   Spiritual Meaning: “eat bread in the kingdom of God” It means that they partake in the reward of the kingdom of God and enjoy the rich preparation of the kingdom of God.


Luke. 14:16 “Then He said to him, A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,

   YLT: “and he said to him, `A certain man made a great supper, and called many,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “A certain man gave a great supper” “A certain man” indicates God the Father. “A great supper” indicates the supper of salvation of God instead of the wedding feast of Christ (See Matt. 22:2-14). Men could enjoy the supper of salvation today (in this age) and they shall wait and enjoy the wedding feast of Christ in future (in the coming).

  “And invited many” Before Christ came into the world, God had predicted His coming to the Jews through prophets and had invited them in advance.

   Enlightenment in the Word: How willing God is to let the world enjoy the salvation that He had prepared (“gave…supper”). Believers should also spread the glad tidings in the bowel of God so that more people could receive the joy of salvation.


Luke. 14:17 “and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, Come, for all things are now ready.'

   YLT: “and he sent his servant at the hour of the supper to say to those having been called, Be coming, because now are all things ready.”

   The Background: “and sent his servant to say to those who were invited” According to the custom of the Jews, the master sent out invitations to guests first and when the supper was ready, he would send the servants again to give the final invitation.

   Spiritual Meaning: “at supper time” It typifies the time when the Lord Jesus has finished the redemption of the cross.

  “Sent his servants to say to those who were invited” “Servants” here indicate the first group of servants who were sent out by God in the dispensation of the New Testament, i.e. the disciples of the Lord and John the Baptist. They have been sent out to the Jews to declare the glad tidings (See Acts. 1:8; 2:1, 12).

  “Come, for all things are now ready.” It typifies that the Lord Jesus had finished the great work of redemption on the cross and made the preparation of grace and He waited for men to receive and enjoy it. “All things” include every spiritual blessing in heaven that God has prepared in Christ (See Eph. 1:3).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “All things are now ready.” It indicates that God has done what He should do on His side and He waits for our reactions on men’s side; God’s salvation is two-sided and both parts are indispensable.

2) Men have to receive with the hand of “faith” (See John. 3:16) what God has prepared with the hand of “love” (See John. 3:16); only when the two hands are joined together will the salvation of God be made perfect.

3) “All things are now ready.” It shows that God has already done everything for us. The beginning of Christians’ life is not to do something for God but to enjoy what God has done for us.


Luke. 14:18 “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.'

  YLT: “`And they began with one consent all to excuse themselves: The first said to him, A field I bought, and I have need to go forth and see it; I beg of thee, have me excused.”

   Literal Meaning: I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it.” Nobody would buy a piece of ground before he has not seen it and therefore this statement does not make sense.

   Spiritual Meaning: But they all with one accord began to make excuses.” It typifies that the majority of the Jews rejected the salvation of the Lord Jesus. In the dispensation of the New Testament, God primly called the children of Israel to attend the supper. Unfortunately, the children of Israel are unwilling to receive the calling of grace because of their obstinacy.

  I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it.” It symbolizes that he regards the desire for material things as more important than the invitation of grace.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Whether one could partake in the supper is fully decided by the “willingness” of men who have been invited. We should pray to the Lord for the heart of “willingness” because it is the precondition to enjoy the spiritual abundance. 

2) Earthly materials and treasure (“I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it”) always become the greatest obstacle for men to seek heavenly things.


Luke. 14:19 “And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.'

   YLT: “`And another said, Five yoke of oxen I bought, and I go on to prove them; I beg of thee, have me excused:”

   Literal Meaning: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them.” Actually nobody pays the money if he has not tested the oxen.

   Spiritual Meaning: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them.” It symbolizes that they pay more attention to work, career and business than God’s calling.

   Enlightenment in the Word: Believer’ workaholic towards worldly works is more than their pursuit of the spiritual things.


Luke. 14:20 “Still another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'

   YLT: “and another said, A wife I married, and because of this I am not able to come.”

   Spiritual Meaning: “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” It symbolizes that the entanglement of family and the opposition of relatives always hinder men from receiving the invitation of the glad tidings.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the fleshly satisfaction is in contrast to the spiritual satisfaction. If men value the relationship of men, they will always relatively underestimate the relationship of God.


Luke. 14:21 “So that servant came and reported these things to his master. 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 the maimed and the lame and the blind.'

   YLT: “`And that servant having come, told to his lord these things, then the master of the house, having been angry, said to his servant, Go forth quickly to the broad places and lanes of the city, and the poor, and maimed, and lame, and blind, bring in hither.”

   Meaning of Words: “streets”: square, broadways; “lanes”: bystreet, alley.

   Literal Meaning: “into the streets and lanes of the city” indicates the places where the common people reside.

   Spiritual Meaning: “bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind” They indicate those who feel that they are in need:

1. “The poor” indicate those who feel that they are empty and unsatisfied in the spirit.

2. “The maimed” indicate those who are unable to do good works that they want very much to do.

3. “The blind” indicate those who feel that the future is in darkness and do not know what to do.

4. “The lame” indicate those who feel that they are unable to walk on the long journey of life.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who are despised by the society and are lost in difficulties are the easiest ones to receive the glad tidings.

2) If men truly know their shortness and no longer hope in the earthly things, they will turn their eyes to the Savior and the salvation that God has prepared.


Luke. 14:22 “And the servant said, Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.'

   YLT: “`And the servant said, Sir, it hath been done as thou didst command, and still there is room.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In the plan of God’s redemption, He has kept innumerable seats for men. In the past two thousand years, though there are thousands upon thousands men having been saved, “still there is room”.

2) Believers should show consideration for God’s heart that “He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2Pet. 3:9) and try their best to preach the glad tidings and make men be saved.


Luke. 14:23 “Then the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

   YLT: “`And the lord said unto the servant, Go forth to the ways and hedges, and constrain to come in, that my house may be filled;”

   Literal Meaning: “compel them to come in” “compel” does not indicate to conquer violently but to try one’s best to persuade.

   Spiritual Meaning: Go out into the highways and hedges” “the highways and hedges” indicate the outside part of the city and they typify the places where the Gentiles reside. Because the Jews rejected God’s calling of grace, God has to turn to the Gentiles (See Acts. 13:46; Rom. 11:11).

  “That my house may be filled.” It typifies to fulfill the fullness of the Gentiles who have been predestinated in God’s plan of redemption (Rom. 11:25).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We, the Gentiles, were strangers and “walked in the highways and hedges” and followed all the people to perish, however, we have been granted the grace.

2) We were “the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind” (See v.21), however, we become the guests of God now. How fortune we are! How greatly we have been exalted by God!

3) “Compel them to come in.” It shows that our being saved is not of our initiative pursuit but God’s “compelling” of grace.

4) “Compel them to come in.” It shows that as long as men are willing to come in, they could enjoy the salvation. The salvation is not through deeds but grace (See Eph. 2:8-9). Therefore our past misdeeds have been forgiven and no matter we were bad or good in the past, we are able to receive grace.

 5) It shows that the principle of salvation fully exceeds men’s states------anyone is able to receive the grace------mercy was shown to the chief of sinners (See 1Tim. 1:15-16).


Luke. 14:24 “For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”

   YLT: “for I say to you, that none of those men who have been called shall taste of my supper.’”

   Literal Meaning: “those men who were invited” indicate those who have rejected the invitation (See v.17-18).

   Spiritual Meaning: “none of those…shall taste my supper” It does not indicate that all the Jews could not partake in the salvation of the New Testament. It warns that if those who are impervious to reason reject God’s invitation, they will be rejected by God consequently.


Luke. 14:25 “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,

   YLT: “And there were going on with him great multitudes, and having turned, he said unto them,”

   Literal Meaning: “now great multitudes went with Him” Though there are “great multitudes” going with Him, a few are the true followers of the Lord. it is the background of the following words of the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word: in the past two thousand years, there are “great multitudes” who call themselves Christians and go with the Lord Jesus, however, how many are there who have undergone tests and are worthy of the Lord’s disciples (v.26-27, 33) on earth?


Luke. 14:26‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

   YLT: “`If any one doth come unto me, and doth not hate his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and yet even his own life, he is not able to be my disciple;”

   Meaning of Words: “hate”: dislike, detest.

   Literal Meaning: “if anyone comes to Me” It means to receive God’s invitation and come to the supper of salvation (See v.16).

  “And does not hate his father and mother” “Hate” in the original is the vivid wording of exaggeration. It shows that the existence of one’s family members and himself is not allowed to become his obstacle and shackle to follow the Lord. The Lord does not ask us to hate men indeed. He asks us to free ourselves from the worldly shackles in order to follow Him.

  The words that describe men’s feelings are relative. Compared with the absolute and perfect “love” that men should have towards the Lord Jesus, men’s favor towards their lineal family members could only be accounted as “hate”. “Hating” one’s family members and his soul indicates to dedicate everything of him and himself to Christ completely.

  “He cannot be My disciples.” “Cannot” shows that there is not the intermediate zone for men. “Disciples” indicate those who follow the Lord and receive the Lord’s strict training and discipline.

   Controversial Clarification: the Lord here does not mean that we should not love our father and mother and sons and daughters. He means that the order of our love should be adjusted------we should let Him have the first place in all things (Col. 1:18). For example: when parents who are unbelievers use the renunciation of parenthood to threaten us to give up faith, if we give way in this, we do love father and mother more than the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who give the first place to their parents and the second place to the Lord cannot be the Lord’s disciples. A disciple should not depart out of the way of fully obeying the Lord because of his concern for his family.

2) Everything that occupies the place that God deserves in our hearts, even father and mother and wife and children, could make us be unworthy of the Lord’s disciples.

3) If believers truly put their father and mother and wife and children in the hand of God and are willing to obey God even if He asks them to hate them (See Matt. 10:35-36), we will see that actually God asks believers to love them and He will elevate their love to the divine love. 

4) A common man is unable to not love his family members all over the world and no one does not love himself. However, the Lord asks us to lay this love down. This is a very strict requirement and if men do not have the absolute hearts towards the Lord, they cannot meet this requirement.

5) Men are so close to each other that they could not feel the preciousness of drawing near to God. Too much satisfaction from men may eclipse the preciousness of the Lord.

6) When someone loves the Lord so much that even hurts himself, he will receive the true joy. If someone has not received the joy, he has not hurt himself for loving the Lord.

7) We should not only love our family members less than the Lord, but also hate our souls. If we are willing to meet this requirement, we should not live in self-centredness and we should live a life centering on Christ.

8) The Lord asks us to give everything to Him. The Lord asks us to love Him completely instead of partially.

9) The Lord is qualified to be loved and served by men completely and unconditionally. If we think that He is unworthy of this, He will assuredly hold that we are unworthy of Him because we were unworthy to receive the salvation.

10) Earthly feelings should be dealt with and then one could have normal relation with the Lord.


Luke. 14:27 “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

   YLT: “and whoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, is not able to be my disciple.”

   Literal Meaning: “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me” The Cross has the dual meaning and aim:

  1) The cross is the peak of the unreasonable treatments and pain added by the world to the Lord. Therefore to believers, bearing his cross and coming after the Lord symbolize various kinds of tribulations, humiliations and sacrifice suffered for the Lord.

  2) The cross is the end of the old man. When believers believe in the Lord, their old man has been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6). However, it is an objective truth to us and we have to make this truth our subject experience by bearing the cross. Bearing one’s cross means to deny oneself (Matt. 16:24).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When believers adjust their relationship with their family members according to the principle of v.26, our natural sentiments will be suffered and our souls (selves) will be hurt and this is to bear the cross.

2) In order to love the Lord more than father and mother and children one has to deny himself (v.26). However if one wants to deny himself, he has to “take up his cross”.

3) Those who are unwilling to take up their own crosses are not willing to deny themselves and want to save their lives firmly. This kind of people cannot be the Lord’s disciples.

4) When He was in Gethsemane, the Lord was determined to make the will of Father be done and He went out to take up His cross. Therefore taking one’s cross is to be determined to make the will of Father be done (Matt. 26:39, 42).

5) If one has not undergone the way of the cross, he won’t come to Gethsemane. If one has not been dealt with by the cross, he won’t say that “but your will, be done.” (See 22:42) Many people like the calling of Abraham but dislike the dedication on the Mount Moriah.

6) Those who put themselves aside, only obey God’s will and love Him at any price can be the Lord’s disciples.

7) There will be shadows of the cross on the way of Christians. Do you have any reason to avoid the responsibility of the cross and be unwilling to bear the cross? Have you ever decided that: no matter how the Lord guides me, I will walk with Him willingly------the faith that the Lord Jesus Christ has given us is the faith of the cross. We could be counted to come after the Lord unless we bear our crosses.

8) Christ bore the cross first and then was crucified (See John. 19:17-18). However, believers in Christ are crucified first and then bear the cross. This makes them keep themselves in the end of the old man and therefore experience and enjoy Christ as their life and the provision of life. 

9) From the positive respect, the spiritual progress is the increase of God in us and from the negative respect, the spiritual progress is that something in us (or the inner part of us) has been gotten rid of. One’s being gotten rid of is the work of the cross.

10) The work to get rid of us of the cross is actually executed by the Holy Spirit in us. And how much has the Holy Spirit gotten rid of in us is determined by our hearts towards God.


Luke. 14:28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it--

   YLT: “`For who of you, willing to build a tower, doth not first, having sat down, count the expense, whether he have the things for completing?”

   Literal Meaning: “sits down first and counts the cost” The Lord Jesus does not ask men to follow Him with muddle. As the man, intending to build a tower, sits down first and counts the cost, before men are committed to the Lord, they have to think over the Lord’s requirement towards those who want to come after Him.  

   Spiritual Meaning: “intending to build a tower” “tower” symbolizes our spiritual up-building. Firstly, the spiritual building should be built upon the right foundation, which is Christ (1Cor. 3:11). Secondly, price and effort should paid to build it, i.e. gold, silver, precious stones and other good materials (1Cor. 3:12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If you want to follow the Lord, you have to know that: the way of the Lord Jesus cannot be followed by all and therefore you have to count the cost before you follow the way.

2) Many believers did pay the prices, however, they did not pay the enough prices and consequently they failed. The price that the Lord requires from us is nothing but our “selves”, i.e. our souls.


Luke. 14:29 “lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

   YLT: “lest that he having laid a foundation, and not being able to finish, all who are beholding may begin to mock him,”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We should not think that our success of following the Lord is not related to others because we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men (See 1Cor. 4:9; Heb. 10:33).

2) It is the most shameful for Christians that they are “mocked” by unbelievers.


Luke. 14:30 “saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.'

   YLT: “saying This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

   Enlightenment in the Word: the world despises the half-hearted Christians. They are easy to be fervent and cold and they are dynamical in the beginning and fall by the wayside sorrowfully.


Luke. 14:31 “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

   YLT: “`Or what king going on to engage with another king in war, doth not, having sat down, first consult if he be able with ten thousand to meet him who with twenty thousand is coming against him?”

   Spiritual Meaning: “going to make war against another king” “Making war” symbolizes our forward stride in the spirit. The Lord’s disciples should make the spiritual war day by day as soldiers who enter the battle field; “another king” symbolizes the spiritual enemy of believers.

  “Who comes against him with twenty thousand” “twenty thousand” is the type of all that hinder us from striding forward.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Today our enemies are in front of us. If we are willing to follow the Lord, there will surely be wars. Satan wants to attack us, the world wants to induce us and the flesh wants to entangle us, shall we be prepared to withstand them with sufficient forces?

2) The forces with which believers withstand all the enemies are nothing but our “mind that suffers in the flesh” (1Pet. 4:1). The battle is the Lord’s as long as we are willing to deny ourselves and obey the Lord’s order (See 1Sam. 17:47).


Luke. 14:32 “Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

   YLT: “and if not so he being yet a long way off having sent an embassy, he doth ask the things for peace.”

   Spiritual Meaning: “he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.” The Lord did not ask us to compromise with the devil, the world, the flesh and other spiritual enemies. He asked us not to pretend to be spiritual warriors by the fleshly strength. 

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord’s disciples have to be fully aware that they either cut off all means of retreat or surrender with humiliations. Christians should never fall by the wayside.

2) The success or failure of the spiritual conflicts is determined by one idea. As long as we truly have the mind of denying ourselves and paying the price, we could conquer all the enemies.


Luke. 14:33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

   YLT: “`So, then, every one of you who doth not take leave of all that he himself hath, is not able to be my disciple.”

   Literal Meaning: the verse shows the truth to come after the Lord:

  1) “Whoever of you” “Whoever” of Christians, instead of “someone” of Christians, can follow the Lord.

  2) “Does not forsake” Those who “do not forsake”, instead of those who “do not have the wish” cannot follow the Lord.

  3) “Forsake all” Those who “forsake all”, instead of those who “forsake the portion of all”, can follow the Lord.

  4) “Cannot be My disciples.” It is not “cannot be My Christians” or “cannot be My secondary disciples”, but “cannot be My disciples”. The Lord’s disciples, having received the Lord’s strict discipline and training, follow the way of the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) He who really considers his profit is he who forsakes all for Christ. The man makes the most worthwhile trade.

2) Those who forsake all and only follow the Lord “can” be the Lord’s disciples.

3) If we are willing to forsake all, give our authority the Lord at His disposal and rely on the Lord in His mighty strength, we will be more than conquerors no matter how ferocious the devil is.

4) Calvin said that, “I have forsaken all for Christ and what have I gained? I have gained everything in Christ.”

5) It is free to enter the kingdom of God, however, you have to pay all for the deeper confession of faith.


Luke. 14:34 “‘Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

   YLT: “`The salt [is] good, but if the salt doth become tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned?”

   The Background: the salt used in the land of Judaea and the Middle East is “rock salt” or “well salt”. Those pieces of salt, which are stones as big as fists, are dug out from rock land or well. Outside of these stones there are layers of salt. When the Jews have dinners, they hold food in their right hands and lick the salt in their left hands to get the flavor. Each of the family members has a piece of salt in the kitchen. Each of them uses his own salt when having dinners. When the piece of salt reduces its flavor and finally loses its flavor, the former piece of salt turns to be a stone and is abandoned casually. These stones without salt are trampled underfoot by men.

  In ancient traditions, if a Jew had betrayed his faith and then repented, before he was accepted and allowed to return to the synagogue, he must lay down at the gate of the synagogue and ask those who enter into the synagogue to trample over him with their feet. Some Christian groups also follow this tradition. The one who had been driven out by the regulations of the assembly, before he is accepted and allowed to return, is forced to lie down at the gate of the church, saying, “Trample on me for I am the salt having lost its flavor.”

   Literal Meaning: “you are the salt of the earth” the functions of salt are to flavor and sterilize. We have dual functions on earth:

  1) To make peace;

  2) To prevent and eliminate sins and corruptions.

  “If the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?” “The salt loses its flavor” symbolizes that Christians have lost their function and act the same as the world. They are not separated from the world.

  Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Salt is used as flavor and antisepsis. Christians, having the nature of salt, are able to make men refreshing and prevent them from sins. Normal Christians could reduce improper things that would happen all around them.

2) Salt is to flavor but it has to be dissolved so as to perform its function. In the same way, we have to dissolve ourselves, sacrifice ourselves and losses ourselves and then become others’ blessings.

3) The aim of Christians of living in the world is not to gain from others, but to dedicate to others.

4) Salt is able to sterilize. Christians should be separated from the world and do not follow the bad example of the world. Only by this way Christians could perform their function as to prevent morality from being ruined.

5) To sons and daughters of God, having the life of God is not enough. They have to let the life become our dispositions. You are “the salt” is not enough. Only when you are “salty”, you are useful.

6) Christians are those in whom is Christ. The flavor of him is not of nature but comes from Christ just like the flavor of pickles comes from sauce. Wherever a Christian is, he should manifest the life of Christ, sending out the flavor of Christ’s righteousness, love, light and holiness.

7) Pure salt could not lose its flavor. Therefore if Christians walk by the nature of the divine life in them, they will naturally perform the functions of “salt”.

8) If salt is mixed with dust, the salty flavor will not be shown. If believers love the world, get along with the world and are infected with sins, they surely lose their flavor and could not perform their functions to the world.

9) The more we forsake the earthly things, the saltier we will be. However, if we are unwilling to forsake all things in this life, we will lose the flavor.


Luke. 14:35 “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’”

   YLT: “neither for land nor for manure is it fit they cast it without. He who is having ears to hear let him hear.’”

   Meaning of Words: “neither fit…nor”: unworthy, not meet, not appropriate.

Literal Meaning: the verse shows that the salt that has lost its flavor is not fit for anything and it could only be threw out.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” It shows that there are many people who cannot hear the above-mentioned words because they do not have the spiritual ears. However, to those who have the spiritual ears, the words are quite important.

   Spiritual Meaning: “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill.” There may be two kinds of explanations according to different angles of time:

  1) Concerning the time when believers are alive, “land” is the type of the assembly (See 1Cor. 3:9); “dunghill” is the type of all things (See Pill. 3:9), i.e. the world. Christians who have lost their effect of life are neither fit for the church nor the world.

  2) Concerning the time when believers face the judgment-seat of Christ after their death, “the land” is the type of the reward of the coming kingdom; “dunghill” is the type of the centralized place of dirtiness, i.e. the lake of fire (See Rev. 21:8; 22:15). When the Lord comes again the failing Christians will be cast out into the outer darkness temporarily, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (See Matt. 25:30). However, they will not be thrown into the lake of fire because they have been saved and they won’t perish. (Note that before the coming of a new heaven and a new earth, the failing Christians will probably be disciplined and trained for a period of time, until they are well prepared.)

  “But men throw it out.” “Out” indicates that it is beyond the realm of glory. The testimony of Christians is trodden (See Matt. 5:13), humiliated and despised and therefore it is in the realm of humiliation.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If Christians become the salt that has lost its flavor, they are useless in the church and are despised and mocked by the world.

2) The failing Christian not only falls from God’s standard but also is not fit for the nature of the world. Because he has received some knowledge of the Bible and spiritual experiences that make him be incompatible with the mode of the world. However, he lacks the sufficient grace and joy that could make him walk on the way of Christians.

3) “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” It implies that not everyone is willing to listen to the strict requirements of disciples. However, if one is willing to follow the Lord Jesus regardless of any price, he should hear and follow Him.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Feast of the World

I. He invites someone to dinner apparently and actually he harbors malicious intentions (v.1).

II. The gusts choose the best places because of their arrogance (v.7, 11).

III. The common people give a dinner, hoping that they would be repaid (v.12).


The Feast of the Kingdom of God------So Great Salvation

I. The master of the feast is great------God Himself------“a certain man” (v.16a).

II. The supper itself is great------“gave a great supper” (v.16b).

III. The guests that have been invited are many------“invited many” (v.16c).

IV. The supper is abundant------“all things are now ready” (v.17).

V. Many times------He sent servants to invite men again and again (v.16-17, 21,23).

VI. Objects are wide------“bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind” (v.21).

VII. The realm is broad------it includes “the streets and lanes of the city” (v.21), “the highways and hedges” (v.23).


Three Periods of Salvation

I. The period of the preparation of salvation------He sent out the invitation to the Jews (v.16).

II. The period of the perfection of salvation------it is rejected by the Jews (v.17-20).

III. The period of the extension of salvation------He declared to the poor and the Gentiles (v.21-23).


The Triple Tests of the Lord’s Disciples

I. Love the Lord more than one’s father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and one’s own life (v.26).

II. Bear his cross (v.27).

III. Forsake all (v.33).


The Directions of the Spiritual Pursuit

I. Up-building------build a tower (v.28-30).

II. Forward-striding------go to make war (v.31-32).

III. Inner-enriching------keep the flavor of salt (v.33).


The Preparations and Persistence of Following the Lord

I. Preparations------sit down first and count the cost and consider (v.28-32)------one is sure that he is willing to pay the price for the Lord.

II. Persistence------do not let the salt lose its flavor (v.34-35)------it is not to follow in form but to follow in reality.


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren