Luke Chapter Fourteen
Some moral details are unfolded in the next chapter (14).  The Lord, being invited to eat with a Pharisee, vindicates the rights of grace over that which was the seal of the old covenant, judging the hypocrisy which at any rate broke the sabbath when their own interest was in question. He then shews the spirit of humility and lowliness that became man in the presence of God, and the union of this spirit with love when there was the possession of worldly advantages. By such a walk, which was indeed His own, in opposition to the spirit of the world, one's place there would be lost; the reciprocations of society would not exist: but another hour was beginning to dawn through His rejection, and which in fact was its necessary consequence-the resurrection of the just. Cast out by the world from its bosom, they should have their place apart in that which the power of God should effect. There would be a resurrection of the just. Then should they have the reward of all that they had done through love to the Lord and for His name's sake. We see the force with which this allusion applies to the Lord's position at that moment, ready to be put to death in this world.
And the kingdom, what would then become of it? With reference to it at that moment, the Lord gives its picture in the parable of the great supper of grace (v. 16-24). Despised by the chief part of the Jews, when God invited them to come in, He then sought out the poor of the flock. But there was room in His house, and He sends out to seek the Gentiles, and bring them in by His call that went forth in efficacious power when they sought Him not. It was the activity of His grace. The Jews, as such, should have no part in it. But those who entered in must count the cost (v. 25-33). All must be forsaken in this world; every link with this world must be broken. The nearer anything was to the heart, the more dangerous, the more it must be abhorred. Not that the affections are evil things; but, Christ being rejected by this world, everything that binds us to earth must be sacrificed for Him. Cost what it may, He must be followed; and one must know how to hate one's own life, and even to lose it, rather than grow lax in following the Lord. All was lost here in this life of nature. Salvation, the Saviour, eternal life, were in question. To take up one's cross, therefore, and follow Him, was the only way to be His disciples. Without this faith, it were better not to begin building; and, being conscious that the enemy is outwardly much stronger than we are, it must be ascertained whether, come what may, we dare, with settled purpose, go out to meet him by faith in Christ. Everything connected with the flesh as such must be broken with.
Moreover (v. 34, 35), they were called to bear a peculiar testimony, to witness to the character of God Himself, as He was rejected in Christ, of which the cross was the true measure. If the disciples were not this, they were nothing worth. They were disciples in this world for no other purpose. Has the church maintained this character? A solemn question for us all!
 Chapters 15 and 16 present the sovereign energy of grace, its fruits, and its consequences, in contrast with all apparent earthly blessing, and God's government on earth in Israel, and the old covenant. The fourteenth, before entering on that full revelation, shews us the place to be taken in such a world as this, in view of the distributive justice of God, of the judgment He will execute when He comes. Self-exaltation in this world leads to humiliation. Self-humiliation-taking the lowest place according to what we are, on the one side, and, on the other, to act in love-leads to exaltation on the part of Him who judges morally. After this we have set before us, the responsibility that flows from the presentation of grace; and that which it costs in a world like this. In a word, sin existing there, to exalt oneself is ministering to it; it is selfishness, and the love of the world in which it unfolds itself. One sinks morally. It is being far from God morally. When love acts, It is representing God to the men of this world. Nevertheless it is at the cost of all things that we become His disciples.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Luke》
Christ heals a man on the sabbath. (1-6) He teaches humility. (7-14) Parable of the great supper. (15-24) The necessity of consideration and self-denial. (25-35)
Commentary on Luke 14:1-6
(Read Luke 14:1-6)
This Pharisee, as well as others, seems to have had an ill design in entertaining Jesus at his house. But our Lord would not be hindered from healing a man, though he knew a clamour would be raised at his doing it on the sabbath. It requires care to understand the proper connexion between piety and charity in observing the sabbath, and the distinction between works of real necessity and habits of self-indulgence. Wisdom from above, teaches patient perseverance in well-doing.
Commentary on Luke 14:7-14
(Read Luke 14:7-14)
Even in the common actions of life, Christ marks what we do, not only in our religious assemblies, but at our tables. We see in many cases, that a man's pride will bring him low, and before honour is humility. Our Saviour here teaches, that works of charity are better than works of show. But our Lord did not mean that a proud and unbelieving liberality should be rewarded, but that his precept of doing good to the poor and afflicted should be observed from love to him.
Commentary on Luke 14:15-24
(Read Luke 14:15-24)
In this parable observe the free grace and mercy of God shining in the gospel of Christ, which will be food and a feast for the soul of a man that knows its own wants and miseries. All found some pretence to put off their attendance. This reproves the Jewish nation for their neglect of the offers of Christ's grace. It shows also the backwardness there is to close with the gospel call. The want of gratitude in those who slight gospel offers, and the contempt put upon the God of heaven thereby, justly provoke him. The apostles were to turn to the Gentiles, when the Jews refused the offer; and with them the church was filled. The provision made for precious souls in the gospel of Christ, has not been made in vain; for if some reject, others will thankfully accept the offer. The very poor and low in the world, shall be as welcome to Christ as the rich and great; and many times the gospel has the greatest success among those that labour under worldly disadvantages and bodily infirmities. Christ's house shall at last be filled; it will be so when the number of the elect is completed.
Commentary on Luke 14:25-35
(Read Luke 14:25-35)
Though the disciples of Christ are not all crucified, yet they all bear their cross, and must bear it in the way of duty. Jesus bids them count upon it, and then consider of it. Our Saviour explains this by two similitudes; the former showing that we must consider the expenses of our religion; the latter, that we must consider the perils of it. Sit down and count the cost; consider it will cost the mortifying of sin, even the most beloved lusts. The proudest and most daring sinner cannot stand against God, for who knows the power of his anger? It is our interest to seek peace with him, and we need not send to ask conditions of peace, they are offered to us, and are highly to our advantage. In some way a disciple of Christ will be put to the trial. May we seek to be disciples indeed, and be careful not to grow slack in our profession, or afraid of the cross; that we may be the good salt of the earth, to season those around us with the savour of Christ.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Luke》
 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
And Jesus answering, spake — Answering the thoughts which he saw rising in their hearts.
 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
He spake a parable — The ensuing discourse is so termed, because several parts are not to be understood literally. The general scope of it is, Not only at a marriage feast, but on every occasion, he that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.
 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 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.
Call not thy friends — That is, I do not bid thee call thy friends or thy neighbours. Our Lord leaves these offices of humanity and courtesy as they were, and teaches a higher duty. But is it not implied herein, that we should be sparing in entertaining those that need it not, in order to assist those that do need, with all that is saved from those needless entertainments? Lest a recompense be made - This fear is as much unknown to the world, as even the fear of riches.
 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
One of them that sat at table hearing these things — And being touched therewith, said, Happy is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God - Alluding to what had just been spoken. It means, he that shall have a part in the resurrection of the just.
 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
Then said he — Continuing the allusion.
A certain man made a great supper — As if he had said, All men are not sensible of this happiness. Many might have a part in it, and will not.
 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.
They all began to make excuse — One of them pleads only his own will, I go: another, a pretended necessity, I must needs go: the third, impossibility, I cannot come: all of them want the holy hatred mentioned Luke 14:26. All of them perish by things in themselves lawful.
I must needs go — The most urgent worldly affairs frequently fall out just at the time when God makes the freest offers of salvation.
 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.
The servant came and showed his lord these things — So ministers ought to lay before the Lord in prayer the obedience or disobedience of their hearers.
 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.
Compel them to come in — With all the violence of love, and the force of God's word. Such compulsion, and such only, in matters of religion, was used by Christ and his apostles.
 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
For refers to Go out, Luke 14:23.
 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.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father — Comparatively to Christ: yea, so as actually to renounce his field, oxen, wife, all things, and act as if he hated them, when they stand in competition with him. Matthew 10:37.
 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
And which of you intending to build a tower — That is, and whoever of you intends to follow me, let him first seriously weigh these things.
 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?
Another king — Does this mean, the prince of this world? Certainly he has greater numbers on his side. How numerous are his children and servants!
 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
So — Like this man, who, being afraid to face his enemy, sends to make peace with him, every one who forsaketh not all that he hath - 1. By withdrawing his affections from all the creatures; 2. By enjoying them only in and for God, only in such a measure and manner as leads to him; 3. By hating them all, in the sense above mentioned, cannot be my disciple - But will surely desist from building that tower, neither can he persevere in fighting the good fight of faith.
 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
── John ‘Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Luke》
Chapter 14. The Feast of the Gospel
Begin to Build
Unable to Finish
I. Healing of a Man with Dropsy
II. Parable of the Great Supper
III. The Cost of Being a Disciple
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Taking The Lowest Place (Lk 14:7-11)
1. We have seen that Jesus did not limit His use of parables to
instructing only His disciples:
a. He often used them in responding to those who challenged Him...
1) Cf. "The Two Sons" - Mt 21:28-32
2) Cf. "The Wicked Vinedressers" - Mt 21:33-46
3) Cf. "The Wedding Feast" - Mt 22:1-14
b. He also used them in more casual settings...
1) As a guest in a Pharisee's home, cf. "The Two Debtors" - Lk
2) Replying to a lawyer's question, cf. "The Good Samaritan" - Lk
3) Responding to a request to settle a family dispute, cf. "The
Rich Fool" - Lk 12:13-21
4) In offering His perspective on a calamity, cf. "The Barren Fig
Tree" - Lk 13:6-9
2. It was in another casual setting that we find Jesus using a parable
to teach an important lesson...
a. The parable is found in Lk 14:7-11
b. It can be called "Taking The
Lowest Place", and it illustrates
the value of humility
[Let's being with...]
I. ANALYZING THE PARABLE
A. THE SETTING...
1. Jesus had gone to eat at the house of one of the rulers of the
Pharisees on the Sabbath - Lk 14:
2. They had watched Him closely - Lk 14:1b
a. Perhaps to see if He would heal the man with dropsy? - cf.
b. Jesus posed a question about the lawfulness of healing on
the Sabbath - Lk 14:3
1) To which they did not respond - Lk 14:4
2) To which they could not respond, after Jesus...
a) Healed the man - Lk 14:5
b) Posed another question revealing their inconsistency
- Lk 14:6
3. Jesus had also been watching them closely - Lk 14:7
a. He had noted how those invited were selecting the best
places to sit
1) It is thought that the seating arrangements at that time
may have involved three tables in the shape of a
2) "The triclinia, or Grecian table, then in use had three
sections which were placed together so as to form a
flat-bottomed U. The space enclosed by the table was not
occupied. It was left vacant that the servants might
enter it and attend to the wants of the guests who
reclined around the outer margin of the table."
3) "The central seat of each of these three sections were
deemed a place of honor. This struggle for precedence
was a small ambition, but many of the ambitions of our
day are equally small." (MCGARVEY)
b. This petty positioning around the tables prompted Jesus to
teach a lesson using a parable...
B. THE PARABLE ITSELF...
1. The setting is a wedding feast, a common social event in those
days - Lk 14:8
2. Jesus warns against sitting down in the best place - Lk 14:
a. Someone more honorable may have been invited
b. When they arrive, the host will ask you to move
c. With shame you will have to move to the lowest place
(likely the only place left!)
3. Instead, He counsels them to sit in the lowest place - Lk 14:
a. That way, the host will come along and say "Friend, go up
b. So instead of shame, brought about trying to sit in the
best place, you will receive glory among those who sit at
the table with you
4. Jesus then concludes with this maxim: "For whoever exalts
himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be
exalted." - Lk 14:11
a. A "maxim": a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule
b. It was one of our Lord's favorite
1) Used in the parable of "The Pharisee And The Publican" -
cf. Lk 18:14
2) Spoken when teaching His disciples not to be like
scribes and Pharisees - cf. Mt 23:6-12
c. It is found in the Old Testament - cf. Ps 18:27; Pr 18:12;
d. And repeated in the New Testament - cf. Ja 4:6; 1 Pe 5:5
[Remember that this is a parable; Jesus' purpose is not just to have us
focus on the story (in this case, the advice about attending wedding
feasts), but the main principle illustrated by the parable.
With that in mind, here are a few thoughts in regards to...]
II. THE PARABLE APPLIED
A. WE LEARN THE DANGER OF PRIDE...
1. The wise man wrote:
a. "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before
a fall." - Pr 16:18
b. "A man's pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit
will retain honor." - Pr 29:23
2. The danger of pride is not just in social settings (as per the
parable), but in our relationship with God!
a. The Lord hates pride - Pr 8:13
b. It is defiles man - Mk 7:21-23
c. It is of the world, not of the Father - 1 Jn 2:15-17
B. WE LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMILITY...
1. The Lord blesses the humble - Ps 25:9; Pr 3:34
2. Humility is a mark of wisdom - Pr 11:2
3. Humility precedes honor like arrogance goes before destruction
- Pr 18:12; cf. 22:4
C. THEREFORE, AS DISCIPLES OF CHRIST LET US...
1. Be clothed with humility - Co 3:12
2. Be humble before God - 1 Pe 5:6
3. Be humble in our dealings with our brethren in Christ - Ph 2:3
4. Be humble in our dealings with those around us, even those who
oppose us - Ti 3:2; 2 Ti 2:24-25
1. Through this simple parable, Jesus has taught us a most important
truth: the need to be humble in our relations with God and those
2. Humility is not a popular grace in our culture...
a. It is considered a sign of weakness by many
b. People fear that they will be made a floor mat by others
3. But we must remember that God is watching, and it is He who said:
For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
"I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isa 57:15)
4. If we desire the Lord to dwell with us, then let us walk humbly
before Him, as Micah wrote...
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Mic 6:8)
May God give us the grace to so walk before Him!
The Great Supper (Lk 14:15-24)
1. In our last study, we found Jesus at the house of one of the rulers
of the Pharisees...
a. He had gone there to eat bread on the Sabbath - Lk 14:1
b. Watched closely by the lawyers and Pharisees who were present,
Jesus healed a man with dropsy, and silenced their objections to
Him healing on the Sabbath - Lk 14:2-6
c. Noticing how they were choosing the best places to sit, Jesus
taught the parable of "Taking The
Lowest Place" to teach the
importance of humility - Lk 14:7-11
2. It was on this same occasion that Jesus taught another parable...
a. Known as the parable of "The Great Supper", it is recorded in
b. One immediately notices similarities between this parable and the
parable of "The Wedding Feast", found in Mt 22:1-14
3. But these parables are not one and the same...
a. The occasion is different
1) The parable of "The Wedding Feast" was actually told later in
Jesus' ministry, during His final week, and in the
2) The parable of "The Great Supper" was told much earlier, and
at the house of the Pharisee
b. The application is different
1) The parable of "The Wedding Feast" appears directed more to
the nation of
as a whole, in rejecting the Son of the Israel
King - cf. Mt 22:1-3
2) The parable of "The Great Supper" does not appear to have such
a limited focus, thus its application may hit a little closer
[Since it "hits closer to home", we want to be careful to make whatever
application of this parable we can. Let's begin with some preliminary
I. THE PARABLE ANALYZED
A. THE SETTING...
1. Again, Jesus is eating at the house of one of the rulers of
the Pharisees, along with a number of lawyers and Pharisees
- Lk 14:1-6
a. He had just told the parable of "Taking The
- Lk 14:7-11
b. He then tells His host that when he has a dinner or a
supper, that he ought to invite those who cannot repay him
- Lk 14:12-14
1) Jesus is not saying that we can "never" have our
friends, etc., over
2) His language here is similar to that found in Jn 6:27
a) Where, taken literally, one might conclude it is
wrong to work for a living
b) But the "do not this...but do this" is a grammatical
way to stress what should be emphasized
c) In this case, spiritual food is more important than
d) Another example of this type of language is found in
1 Pe 3:3-4
3) So He is stressing hospitality towards those who cannot
repay us in this life
2. Jesus' comments prompt a response from one who heard Him - Lk
a. "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the
!" kingdomof God
b. This saying was likely precipitated by Jesus' reference to
the being repaid at the resurrection of the just - cf. Lk
c. "The language of Christ implied that God himself would
feast those who feasted the poor, and this implication
accorded with the Jewish notion that the
would be ushered in with a great festival. Inspired by this
thought, and feeling confident that he should have been
part of the festivities, this guest exclaimed upon the
anticipated blessedness." (MCGARVEY)
d. That the speaker would refer to eschatological blessings in
the symbolism of a heavenly banquet was not out of place
- cf. Mt 8:11-12; Re 19:9
-- It is this comment by the other guest that prompts Jesus to
tell another parable...
B. THE PARABLE ITSELF...
1. A certain man gives a great supper and extends his invitation
- Lk 14:16-17
2. However, those invited began to make excuses...
a. One had bought a piece of ground, and said he must go see
it - Lk 14:18
b. Another had bought five yoke of oxen, and wanted to test
them - Lk 14:19
c. A third said he had married, and could not come - Lk 14:20
3. The master, being angry, sends his servant to go out and
a. At first, the poor, maimed, lame and blind (i.e., social
outcasts) - Lk 14:21
b. But there is still room, so the servant is sent out again,
to compel those among the highways and hedges to come - Lk
4. But those invited who made excuses would not taste of his
supper - Lk 14:24
[Jesus does not explain the meaning of this parable, so we are left on
our own. Here are some thoughts in regards to...
II. THE PARABLE APPLIED
A. GOD HAS MADE WONDERFUL PROVISIONS FOR THE FUTURE...
1. The great supper likely symbolizes the time after the
resurrection - cf. Lk 14:14-15
2. As indicated above, the blessings of the kingdom of heaven in
its eternal state are often depicted in the figure of great
feast - cf. Mt 8:11-12; Re 19:9
3. Paul writes of the wonderful blessings yet to come - cf. Ep
4. John writes of the vision he saw relating to these blessings
- Re 21:1-7, 9-12; 22:1-5
-- Whatever these symbols represent, who would not want to
B. NOT ALL INVITED WILL EXPERIENCE THESE BLESSINGS...
1. God has graciously extended the invitation of salvation, along
with its future blessings, to many
a. To the Jew first, and also to the Greek (i.e., the
Gentiles) - cf. Ro 1:16
b. God certainly desires all to be saved, not wanting any to
perish - 1 Ti 2:3-6; Ti 2:11; 2 Pe 3:9
c. And so the invitation has been made to all - cf. Re 22:17
2. Sadly, though, many will not accept the invitation, making
a. These excuses may involve things that within themselves are
1) Such as business responsibilities - cf. Lk 14:18-19
2) Such as family responsibilities - cf. Lk 14:20
b. The problem is that priorities are misplaced, and one
should not allow earthly matters to take priority over
spiritual matters - cf. Mt 6:33; Lk 10:38-42
C. THOSE WHO WILL EXPERIENCE THE BLESSINGS MIGHT SURPRISE US!
1. Many understand the parable to have initial reference to the
offer of the gospel to Gentiles after its rejection by the
Jews - e.g., Mt 21:43
2. Others see the reference to the offer of salvation to the
publicans and sinners after its rejection by the religious
leaders of that day - e.g., Mt 21:31-32
3. Might we not make application to ourselves today?
a. Many "in the church" often make excuses for not serving the
Lord as they should
b. Yet with a spirit of self-righteousness they expect to be
"guests at the great supper"
c. In the end, though, it will be the humble, often despised
yet ever faithful, servants of the Lord who shall "taste my
supper" - cf. Lk 14:24
1. The Lord has certainly prepared a wonderful "supper", and has
extended the invitation to all:
"Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the
Lamb." (Re 19:9)
"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears
say, 'Come!' And let him who thirst come. And whoever desires,
let him take the water of life freely." (Re 22:17)
2. The danger is allowing the affairs of life to keep us from accepting
this gracious invitation:
"But they all with one accord began to make excuses..." (Lk 14:
Are you prone to make excuses in responding to the call of the Lord?
May the parable of "The Great Supper" serve as a warning to us all!