The Great Banquet
Comments for Study 27
Memory Verse: 13-14a
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I. A Pharisee's Banquet (1-14)
>1. Why was Jesus being so carefully watched at the Pharisee's banquet?
* Luke 14:1 "One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched."
* Luke 11:53-54 "When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say."
* Luke 11:53-54 states the beginning of the Pharisees fierce opposition to Jesus. Luke 13:14 and Luke 14:1 records the continued vigil concerning him healing on the Sabbath. Luke records five of Jesus' miracles on the Sabbath. (Luke 4:31, 38, 6:6, 13:14, 14:1) John records two more. (John 5:10, 9:14)
* "On a Sabbath" -Luke does not state which Sabbath. A walking trip from Galilee to Judea was only a few days along the Jordan River. Since it was the Sabbath Jesus would have first been in a synagogue this morning. No synagogues probably existed along the Jordan River in Jesus' day and there certainly weren't any in Samaria (though Jesus didn't travel through Samaria for this trip). So Jesus was either on the southern edge of Galilee or already in east Judea. However, it is also possible that Luke is not following chronological order.
* Luke is the only one to record the exchange Jesus had at this prominent Pharisee's house.
* The Pharisees claim against Jesus was that healing was work and therefore unlawful. With this violation of God's law, they claimed, Jesus could not have been doing God's work. They publicly stated this with a hope that people would stop following him. They are no different then the religious leaders of all religions, demonstrations and local congregations that are fearful of people leaving and thus taking their livelihood, power, and prestige.
* If you are a religious leader beware. Are you serving God and people? Or do you see others as a mean to your benefit? I have meet religious leaders who love people's offerings more than the person who gives the offering.
>Why do you think the Pharisee invited him?
* "he was being carefully watched" -Partly for the prestige that would accompany it. But mostly because Luke was clear that the Pharisees hated Jesus and wanted to discredit him. They knew from the past that Jesus was prone to heal on the Sabbath.
* An old saying is, "Beware of he who bears gifts."
* What motives do we have when we give charity? Why do we do acts of kindness? God watches the motives of our hearts. (Proverbs 16:2; John 16:30; and 1 Corinthians 4:5; James 4:3)
* "prominent" -Respected by people.
>Why did he accept?
* Jesus wanted to teach them.
* Jesus had a shepherd's heart. (Exodus 33:19; Matthew 9:36)
* Jesus did not distinguish people based on who they are, but on what they did and why they did it. Jesus taught all, even those whose motives were impure and who hated him.
* If someone acts kindly towards me with impure motives it is not wrong for me to accept it if I do so in truth and love.
>2. What did Jesus do when the man suffering from dropsy stood before him?
* Luke 14:2-4 "There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.""
* "there in front of him" -Jewish society in those does would have put this man in the back. He was deliberately told to sit in front of Jesus.
* "dropsy" -Dropsy here is "hydropikos" in the original Greek meaning "looking watery", a medical term only found here in the New Testament. It's a painful accumulation of fluids especially in the limbs that indicated an illness affecting other parts of the body. A person with dropsy is not pleasant to look at.
* "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" -Jesus asked them a question in order to teach them. Asking questions was a common way to teach in those days, and still is to this day. Asking questions before the miracle made it difficult for them to protest afterward.
* "they remained silent" -Jesus had taught before that the answer is, "No." But they did not accept nor acknowledge it out of fear of being publicly humiliated. The author of the law was before them and they did not accept neither him or his law.
* "taking hold of the man" -Jesus was personal. Many would of had a problem looking at the man let alone take a hold of him.
* "he healed him and sent him away" -Immediate healing was a true sign that Jesus was the Messiah. It's probable that the water expelled from his body leaving his clothes wet. If so, being told to leave would have been kind.
>What did he teach? (5)
* Luke 14:5 "Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"
* "a son or an ox" -They would work on the Sabbath for their own benefit.
* "immediately" -They would not wait a day.
* Jesus' kind work was for the benefit of another.
* Jesus was pointing out their hypocrisy.
* They wanted to publicly denounce Jesus, but in the end they were publicly humiliated. Jesus did not intend to humiliate them. Their stubborn refusal to acknowledge him lead to their humiliation.
>Why were the Pharisees silent?
* Luke 14:6 "And they had nothing to say."
* They knew Jesus was right, but won't admit it.
* They were afraid of what their adversary and piers would think.
* They wanted to go against Jesus, not be taught by him.
* Their challenge to Jesus about healing on the Sabbath was not for any real regard for the Sabbath and therefore God, but for the sake of finding fault in Jesus. They were looking for reasons to justify their rejection of Jesus.
* The sinful nature looks for self justification rather than rectification.
>3. What did Jesus notice about the guests at the banquet?
* Luke 14:7 "When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:"
* "When he noticed" -Jesus was humble and was not brining this up for himself. Rather, he was doing it for everyone in the room. Jesus is always watching us and seeing our motives and actions.
* "places of honor at the table" -Nearest the host was the best seats.
* "guests picked" -They were at a Pharisees' house on a Sabbath. A common practice on the Sabbath in those days was to eat a meal with family, friends, and associates at someone's home. Seats were not assigned, but all assumed that the best seats were for those of prestige. Those of prestige naturally went to the best seats first.
* Guests from out of town were given seats of importance. So Jesus was in the best seat. The man with dropsy would have been at the least important seat except in this meal they placed him across Jesus. Jesus knew this, as did just about anyone there. So Jesus pointed this hypocrisy out.
* Jesus wanted the Pharisees to repent as he did with his former words and action of healing the man with dropsy.
* Jesus took every opportunity to teach, even during a meal.
>What do their actions reveal about them?
* They were selfish.
* They were proud. They thought highly of themselves.
* They were oppressive.
* They sought and loved man's recognition and honor.
* Everyone wants recognition and honor and there isn't anything wrong with it. (Romans 2:7) We should not seek it or expect it from others. We should seek God's recognition and honor. (James 4:6, 10)
>What teaching did Jesus give these guests? (8-11)
* Luke 14:8-11 "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.
But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
* As mentioned in question 1, Luke is the only one to record this parable.
* The theme of this parable is honor and humiliation; the source of these. The self-exalted will be humbled and the humble will be externally exalted. This theme is often in the Bible (Luke 11:43, 18:14, 20:46; 2 Chronicles 7:14-15; Proverbs 3:34, 25:6-7; Matthew 18:4, 23:12; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6)
* The disciples often argued amongst themselves about who was the greatest. One such argument was at the last supper where most likely they were trying to get the best seats. (Luke 22:24)
>Why did he teach them?
* "wedding feast" -Jesus and his disciples were at a prominent Pharisees house on a Sabbath. He was not at a wedding feast. Yet his parable (similitude) concerned being invited to a wedding feast. Is there a reason for Jesus placing this hypothetical situation at a wedding feast and not a Sabbath meal? Perhaps he did this as to not directly insult the prominent people at the Sabbath meal. Jesus didn't want to insult them, he wanted to help them change (repent).
* God will judge on how we live on earth, what we pursue, God's honor or others.
* Jesus wanted them to humble themselves, see themselves properly, in the eyes of God.
* God's way to be raised in honor is to make ourself low.
* God will oppose the proud and exalts humble, especially in the kingdom of God.
* Jesus is the greatest example of one who humbles himself to be exalted by God. (Philippians 2:6-9)
* One ought to watch that he doesn't think so highly of himself or that he presents himself more honorable that others.
* Generally in society one who tries to impress himself and others through verbal and silent boasting isn't seen as great. The humble person who does his work is generally liked. Why? They make others feel important. The saying, "One who blows his own trumpet," is often presented to mean it is a good thing to do when in actuality it is not. That is why often prominate people pay others to blow the trumpet while displaying false humility.
* Proverbs 25:6-7 is exactly the same teaching.
>4. What was the Pharisee's basis for selecting the guests he invited to his banquet?
* Luke 14:12 "Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid."
* "luncheon or dinner" -Jesus and his disciples were at such an occasion. Jesus changed the location from a wedding banquet to a place that was actually happening for this teaching.
* Although taught at the same time, with a similar meaning, and just after the previous similitude, this has a separate and different meaning.
* "Jesus said to his host" -Jesus directly pointed out that his host could have done better. Jesus seldom directly rebuked one individual as he did in this incidence.
* He invited those he knew, as almost everyone does. In my youth people took turns inviting people to their house thinking and saying, "It's my turn," and "They invited us out and now it is our turn to repay them."
* "luncheon or dinner" -Same as saying it is a banquet in verse 16.
>What did Jesus teach his host about whom he should invite?
* Luke 14:13-14 "But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
* "repay" -They needed to change their thinking on how we'll be repaid for our actions.
* Jesus wants us to be like him, a sacrificial lamb.
* "the resurrection of the righteous" -All will be resurrected (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15) Most today hold that the resurrection of the righteous (1 Corinthians 15:23; and 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:4-6) is distinct from the "general" resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12, 21; Hebrews 6:2; Revelation 20:11-15)
* "righteous" -Not that they are right by their actions, but rather they are made right by the act of God. God pronounces one righteous on the basis of Christ's atonement and who have evidenced their pronounced faith in Christ by actions. (Matthew 25:34-40) The actions are a result of God's grace, not to achieve God's favor and blessing.
* A good servant doesn't expect anything in return for his or hers good actions. (Luke 17:10)
* Some people may do good acts to be repaid in heaven. This is not the point of this teaching. Doing good to be repaid by others or by God is not a good motive to do good. Do good out of faith, hope and love. These are the only motives that will remain.
* 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
* Matthew 25:36-40
* Jesus taught at another time, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing." (Matthew 6:3)
II. The Great Heavenly Banquet (15-24)
>5. Why did the man in verse 15 make a remark about a great heavenly banquet?
* Luke 14:15 "When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
* Luke is the only one to record the parable of the Great Banquet.
* "one of those at the table" -The man was changing the subject, or rather challenging and correcting Jesus teaching. He was stating that God invites and welcomes only those who do good.
* The meaning behind Jesus' teaching was very clear to the man. He did not accept or believe it to the point of making everyone know his objection and his belief what was right.
* He believed as many do now, that the good will be invited to heaven, or in other words God will only invite people who do more good than bad. He believed he would go to heaven because he deserved to go for he was a good person, not an evil person. His point was if God works on this principle, they we should too.
>What did he mean?
* "Blessed" -Honored, exalted, and touched by God. God given special treatment.
* "is the man" -Himself and his peers, in his belief the people of God, the Jews.
* "at the feast in the kingdom of God" -Heaven and especially at the resurrection of the righteous. The great Messianic banquet to come was and still is associated with a feast (Luke 13:39; Isaiah 25:6; Matthew 8:11, 25:1-10, 26:29; Revelation 20:4-6)
* "the kingdom of God" -A phrase often repeated in the Bible.
>6. In Jesus' parable, who is the host?
* Luke 14:16 "Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests."
* "Jesus replied" -Jesus used the man's response to his previous rebuke to the host as an occasion for another parable, the subject being that not everyone will enter the kingdom.
* "A certain man" -Jesus.
* "a great banquet" -Same as "the feast in the kingdom of God" in the man's statement.
* The man's statement was about being blessed equates to being in the kingdom of God. Jesus' teaching was about people excluding themselves from God's invitation with lame reasons.
* Jesus didn't agree with one action or statement at this event, an event that he was invited to as an honored guest with the intention of trapping him.
>Who do the invited guests represent?
* "invited many guests" -The Jews, those in Judea at the time.
> Who does the servant represent?
>7. What were the responses of the invited guests?
* Luke 14:17-20 "At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'
19 "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'
20 "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'"
>How did these responses reveal their worldliness?
>What do they reveal about their attitude toward God?
>8. How did the master respond to the rejection? (21)
* Luke 14:21 "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'"
>Who do these second group of invited guests represent?
>How are we like the third group?
* Luke 14:22-23 "'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full."
>What can we learn about God? (24)
* Luke 14:24 "I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"
III. The Workers of the Kingdom of God (25-34)
>9. What did Jesus teach the large crowds following him?
* Luke 14:25-27 "A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple."
* Luke is the only one to record this.
>What does he mean by "hate" his loved ones and himself?
* "hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life."
>10. What do each of the two parables in verses 28-33 teach about counting the costs of following Jesus?
* Luke 14:28-33 “But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There's the person who started that building and couldn't afford to finish it!’ Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can't, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own."
* Luke is the only one to record the parables concerning the cost of being a disciple.
>About the importance of making a decision and a committment?
>11. What does salt that has lost its saltiness represent?
* Luke 14:34-35 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
* The parable of salt is also in Matthew 5:13 and Mark 9:50.
>How should Christians have saltiness?
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