Luke 14: The Sabbath, Supper, And Counting The Cost.

Luke 14:1-6 Mercy On The Sabbath.

The lawyers and Pharisees were watching Jesus one Sabbath day to see if they could catch Him in a violation. Was this why He had been invited to eat with them? We are not told specifically, but it is readily apparent that this was the case (vv. 1-2). So Jesus asked the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath” (v. 3).” Then there was a man suffering from Dropsy who He healed (v. 4). We just read of a woman healed on the Sabbath, and Jesus had pointed out what He points out here, that they obviously considered it lawful to take care of their animals on the Sabbath (13:10-17). They prided themselves on their understanding of the law, but the law commanded them to help an animal suffering under a burden, even if it was their enemy’s animal (Cf. Ex. 23:5; Dt. 22:4). It is very interesting that these references to the law do not specifically refer to Sabbath observance. Jesus is teaching here that the overall thrust of the law should have made it obvious that there are other requirements of the law that modify the Sabbath law. There is a place for acts of necessity and mercy, which their own actions showed.

Luke 14:7-35 Called To The Supper-Counting The Cost.

This chapter began with a meal on the Sabbath in the house of “one of the rulers of the Pharisees” (v. 1). Some wanted to test Him, whether He would break their laws of the Sabbath. In this context Jesus laid down the principle that it is right to heal on the Sabbath (vv. 2-6). Now we also are taught a lesson about humility. One should not think of oneself higher than one ought, and it is better to show hospitality to those in need, than to just fellowship with friends (vv. 7-14). Both stories, and the context itself, point to a parable of “a great supper…in the kingdom of God” (vv. 15-16). The main principle with this parable being that many will be invited to the heavenly feast, but many will not come. However, rather than acquiescing in this rejection, the servants are sent “into the highways and hedges” to compel people in, that the Master’s “house may be filled” (v. 23). It is not those who are invited who will taste the supper, but those who come (v. 24).

Luke then tells us that Jesus then left the house of the Pharisee and the meal adding that “great multitudes went with Him” (v. 25). After what Jesus had just taught it would seem that there were many who did not want to be left out. However, what they were then doing was relatively easy, what was required to follow Jesus would entail much more. Those responding to the call to the supper must put Jesus before all others, including family if necessary (v. 26). Everyone will have a cross to bear (v. 27). One must count the cost of following Jesus to the end (vv. 28-32). “So likewise, whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (v. 33). Those who do not count the cost of persevering to the end are like salt that has lost its flavour, becomes worthless and is thrown out (Cf. Mt. 5:13). Mark also connects the seasoning effect of salt with the sweet peace of fellowship in the body of Christ (Mk. 9:50).

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