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Luke 14 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Parable of the Wedding Feast
7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Parable of the Great Banquet
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
- At a banquet, Jesus commented on the behaviour of the guests, who competed with each other for “a place of honour”. The scrambling for position reflected the heart attitude of the guests. As Jesus pointed out, it was also foolish, as it exposed a person to the danger of embarrassment if asked to go down lower later. Jesus also had advice for His host. Don’t use the dinners for social advantage, or to seek a favour. God’s kingdom is open to everyone, especially those who can never return the favour. God will repay us in eternity.
- How do things like customs and status get in the way of you loving others in family, church, workplace, or community?
- What does it mean today for you to throw a party for “the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind”? Who would you invite? What would it be like?
- Talk with Jesus about this idea and share the insights with a few close friends. Make plans to do it.