Luke 14:1-24

While Matthew and Mark each record one instance of Jesus getting in trouble with the authorities for healing on the Sabbath and John records two, this is the third such account that Dr Luke has mentioned. The form is similar to the previous example (ch 13) – Jesus’ opponents cannot answer his questions so have to concede that he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s yet another example of the displeasure that God had with the way that the complex legal system had twisted his Law, which was given so that the Jews would realise their need for Jesus – not use it to condemn him.

The three things Jesus says about banquets feasts give three pieces of advice, and teach us about the character of God. Firstly (v7-11), the more humbly you think of yourself, the more you will be honoured. That seems silly, but the parable Jesus uses to back it up is a good one. Secondly (v12-14), be generous to people with no intention of being repaid. Of course, being invited to dinner by someone you invited the previous week doesn’t nullify your good deed, but if you give to those who can’t repay then you know that your motivation is good. Thirdly (v15-24), if you’re invited into the kingdom then accept it! Don’t be too busy with a job or possessions or a family to take God up on his offer. Of course, this was meant to show that Israel had rejected God’s offer so it was being given to others, but today when the free offer of salvation has gone out to all don’t miss out like the Jews did. We also see Luke the gentile emphasising that all people – and especially those of low status – are invited to the great feast.

Heavenly Father, I thank you that you invited and compelled me into your kingdom. Please will you help me to remember how humbly I should think of myself compared to your Son, and to be truly generous to everyone. Amen.

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