Healing of a Man on the Sabbath, The Parable of the Wedding Feast, The Parable of the Great Banquet

Luke 14:1–24

1.         Whether the event of healing a man on the Sabbath, which the Pharisees thought was work thus not allowed on a Sabbath, was arranged by the Pharisees or not, is unclear.

2.         Jesus made it clear that ‘work’ would be done if a son or an ox needed rescue on a Sabbath, of course this work would be done. And the healing of a person fits this category.

3.         The wedding feast parable highlights the tendency to put on a show by guests who are proud of themselves due to their exalted status. The consequences of this are significant and point to a time of judgment in the future. It points out the self-importance common to Pharisees.

4.         In the parable of the great banquet, Jesus brings up something common in that culture, that by means of inviting others to a ‘great’ banquet, this favor would customarily be returned. The rich and powerful treated each other this way.

5.         In response to one of those present who spoke of a banquet, “eat bread” signifies such a banquet, Jesus talked of three persons who declined an invitation to a banquet given by a servant of the host.

6.         The “master of the house” became angry at the rejections to his invitation and ordered his servant to go out to the surrounding area and invite those who were poor and otherwise physically disabled. This would be unthinkable.

7.         But even this was not enough, the master ordered the servant to go outside the city and invite in foreigners, meaning Gentiles. The servant was even ordered to “compel people” to come in.

8.         Tragically however, those who rejected the summons to the banquet will not ever taste it. Here Jesus speaks of a judgment to come and likely He said this with great sorrow in His heart.

Lament over Jerusalem

Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:31–35

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Jesus, with the Twelve are in Galilee heading for Jerusalem, is approached by a group of Pharisees who warn Him to leave the area. Herod, tetrarch of Galilee rules the area and, according to the Pharisee contingent, is out to murder Jesus.

2.         Whether this is true or not is unknown, but Jesus says to the religious leaders to go and let that “fox” meaning Herod who was crafty and treacherous, that He will not be intimidated but will go about His ministry.

3.         Jesus then reminds His hearers of the history of Israel’s leaders, the opposition and hostility aimed at the prophets God had sent to them.

4.         Jesus’ lament, His sorrowful statement, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” referring to the people’s rejection of the messengers God had sent to them, which shows the love He has for the nation of Israel.

5.         The result of the continued rejection of those who had been sent to the Jewish people means their faith is empty and fruitless.

6.         The final statement of Jesus is that the nation of Israel will not be blessed until they acknowledge Him as Savior and Messiah.  

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:18–30

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven &

The Narrow Door

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Jesus, with two parables, that of the mustard seed and leaven, lets His followers know that the Kingdom of God will grow a little bit while appearing to be small and weak. This is like the very tiny seed of the mustard plant that can produce a large plant even resembling a tree. Then just a tiny bit of leaven can penetrate and produce a large amount of bread.

2. In “The Narrow Door” are two more parables, the first having to do with a “narrow” door, and we see in John 10 that Jesus Himself is that door. The kingdom of God, which the Jewish nation was waiting for, will be entered only through a narrow door.

3.         The second parable, our fourth being covered here, tells the story of a master of a house who will shut the door and when those outside ask to come he will respond “I never knew you.”

4.         The master of the house even says to the late comers “depart from me, all you workers of evil!” Thus, it is more than a case of not knowing, it is also that these are “workers of evil.”

5.         But, there will be those coming from all over the world who will be invited into the kingdom of God, and these likely are from the Gentile world.           

Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:1–17

Repent or Perish, The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

A Woman with a Disabling Spirit

Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.

clearly defined but was used by religionists and philosophers to refer to the highest of that which is supernatural.

1.         Jesus is told that some Galileans had been slaughtered by Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea. The idea being that what happened to these Galileans was due to their being sinners. Galileans were generally looked down upon by Judeans.

2.         Jesus answers that this did not happen because of these Galileans being sinners, but more importantly, unless a person repents, only perishing awaits. “Perishing” is a term meaning being forever being sentenced to hell.

3.         Then Jesus reminds the crowd of 18 inhabitants of Jerusalem that had been killed while repairing a water tower, and then are these 18 worse sinners than others?

4.         The parable of the fig tree, and Israel, the nation, was likened to a fig tree, well, it did not produce fruit in its third year and should be uprooted. But the lead farmer, the vinedresser, argues for waiting a year before doing this extreme measure. The meaning may be that Jesus is hoping that the nation of Israel, instead of rejecting Him, would receive Him. (Jesus makes 3 trips to Jerusalem.)

5.         Over the centuries, with the rise of the Pharisaical teachers, rules for the Sabbath became increasingly severe and limiting. Here a woman who had suffered greatly for18 years is healed by Jesus.

6.         The ruler of the synagogue, would be a Pharisee, complained that the healing was work and no work could be done on the Sabbath.

7.         Jesus says such thinking, and rule keeping, is hypocritical and reminds the leader of the synagogue that he himself will lead animals to the water trough on a Sabbath, which is a form of work, but this is overlooked.

8.         Here a woman who had suffered greatly is healed and Jesus is condemned for doing this work. The condemners are put to shame, possibly a healthy sign, and the crowd who are present, rejoice in this.

Not Peace, but Division, Interpreting the Time, & Settle with Your Accuser

Gospel Meditation

Luke 12:49–59

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.

1.         Jesus openly declares that He does not bring peace but division, so unlike every other world religious system. We know the peace He brings, forgiveness of sin and giving the new birth, but it is not hidden that there is trouble along with it.

2.         Surprisingly the division hits close to home, within the family. Is this reality part of counting the cost of discipleship?

3.         All people groups know how to predict what weather is heading their way, but the hypocrites, those religious professionals (Pharisees & Sadducees) are unable to interpret the times, KAIROS in the Greek. Could Jesus be alluding to more than the divisions of family and friends, but also pointing to demonic forces as well?

4.         Now a most difficult passage, these verses 57 to 59, titled “Settle with Your Accuser” in the ESV, about settling differences with an accuser so that the whole squabble does not place one in prison.

5.         The last verse, #59 reads: “I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.” Now this must refer to having ended up in a prison, but what is the prison?

6.         My answer is it is about the much tragic prison of all, and that is hell itself, where a person, endlessly, experiences grief and pain. Jesus so warns us.

You Must Be Ready

Gospel Meditation

Luke 12:35–48

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         There are several titles for this passage, one above and also Watchful Servants and The Alert Slave.

2.         Jesus tells His followers that they must be ready to do the will of their Lord and blessed are those who are serving Him when He returns.

3.         Of great surprise then, those who belong to Jesus, identify Him as Lord, and are born again, will find Jesus Himself serving them.

4.         The timing of His return will not be known to the disciples, so they must always be awake and alert.

5.         Again it is repeated in a slightly different way, that the directive of Jesus is His disciples must be ready since His return is unknown.

6.         Jesus reminds His disciples that masters of households reward those who follow them faithfully.

7.         But woe to the servant who abuses his privileges by mistreating other servants under him, well, the consequences will be dire.

8.         Those who knowingly go against what they knew they ought not to be doing will bear the consequences.

9.         These are Jesus’ directions for His followers, here delivered directly to the twelve apostles.

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Do Not Be Anxious

Luke 12:22–34

Do Not be Anxious

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Most of what we find in our passage is also found in Matthew 6, a part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus may have spoken this twice or Luke decides to place it here.

2.         Jesus, understanding the anxiety that existed in the lives of people in general wants to relieve His followers from being burdened by the common worries all people face.

3.         He reminds His disciples how the Creator God cares for living things like the raven, lilies, even the grass of the field. The point is that God cares for the disciples of Jesus.

4.         Jesus is highly aware of the stress people live under and wants His disciples to be free of it and that by not seeking as of first importance that which everyone needs to survive.

5.         Not that the disciples are not to provide for themselves, but there is something that is much greater for them to focus on, and that is the kingdom of God.

6.         In seeking first the kingdom, all the rest will also be added to them, the practical things of life.

7.         “Fear not” Jesus says, and it is fear that underlies anxiety, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give them the kingdom, to be a part of God’s great plan of salvation.

8.         We are to seek as of greatest importance the “treasure” in heaven and then our heart, our personhood, will be in the right place.

The Parable of the Rich Fool

Gospel Meditation: Luke 12:13–21

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         This parable of the rich fool comes at a time when huge crowds are surrounding Jesus. Someone then, who was standing close to Jesus, asked Him to arbitrate in a dispute between the man and his brother regarding the amount of an inheritance each would receive. Apparently, the father had recently died

2.         Though commonly Rabbis did adjudicate is such instances, Jesus declines to do so.

3.         Jesus begins then to speak truth to this man who He determines is acting out of covetousness. Jesus says to “take care” or carefully think about what is really going on. The inner motive of the man Jesus sees to be based on covetousness, the desire for wealth and thus power.

4.         Jesus then tells a parable about a rich man who did very well as a farmer, in fact did so well at raising crops that he needed to tear down his present barns and build bigger ones in order to store the produce.

5.         The farmer boasts that he will now be able to live fabulously, as an “epicurean” whose motto was, “relax, eat, drink, and be merry.”

6.         However, he does not know that he will not live another day, and then, who will enjoy the wealth. Obviously, it would be the brother whom he was looking to cheat.

7.         Jesus says it is better to be rich “toward God.”

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees, Have No Fear, Acknowledge Christ Before Men

Gospel Meditation

Luke 12:1–12

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Jesus warns His disciples of accusations the Pharisees are spreading among the crowds of people coming to hear Jesus teach and preach.

2.         Despite the efforts of the pharisees, nothing of what they attempt will remain hidden, thus go unpunished.

3.         So then, Jesus says that His disciples will spread His word far and wide.

4.         Yes, those who oppose the words of Jesus will cause fear, but He says that His disciple are not to be afraid. Afterall, Christians can only lose their lives; they will not be prevented from being in His presence. And these only fear God.

5.         Jesus’ followers, though many, are all of value––not one is forgotten––this is the encouragement Jesus gives to all who follow Him.

6.         Indeed, all who proclaim Jesus to the world, these will the Son of Man, Jesus Himself, declare as His own.

7.         On the other hand, and here is where fear is real,  that those who reject Jesus as Lord will be denied salvation.

8.         Now then, Jesus goes on to say that those who speak negatively about Himself will be forgiven, but those who speak against the Holy Spirit and His working, cannot be forgiven.

9.         Jesus then assures His followers who will suffer for His sake that they have nothing to fear as the Holy Spirit will be present to defend them.