Luke 14:1-6-Jesus eats in the home of a Pharisee. Evidently, the Pharisees had invited some other Pharisees to join them because it says, “they were watching Him closely”. Notice the plural “they”. The word “watch” doesn’t mean that they were simply looking at Him, but that they were observing Him closely in hopes of His making a mistake and their catching Him.
"to watch closely, observe narrowly" (para, used intensively, and No. 2), is translated "ye observe" in Gal 4:10, where the Middle Voice suggests that their religious observance of days, etc. was not from disinterested motives, but with a view to their own advantage.
Watch (Noun and Verb), Watchers, Watchful, Watchings:
(http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3906&t=KJV, Vine’s Expository Dictionary)
While there, Jesus notices a man who has “dropsy” (a disease that causes the body to swell due to retention of excessive fluid). He asks the Pharisees if it was legal (in their thinking) to heal on the Sabbath. They do not respond. So, He heals the man. Jesus then accuses them by saying that if they had a child or an animal that fell into a well on the Sabbath they would pull it out...but they would not help this man. There is no excuse that they can come up with, so they just sit there in silence.
Luke 14:7-11-As Jesus looks around, He notices that when the guests arrived they would try to position themselves in the best seats in the house. As if they deserved those seats more than anyone else. Jesus takes this as an opportunity to teach about humility. Don't try to exalt yourself, be humble and allow God to determine your status. If you don’t, it could lead to an embarrassing situation if someone who is more important than you are arrives and you are asked to move so that he can have your seat. It would be far better if the host saw you and invited you to sit closer to the head of the table. The principle to remember is that if you seek to exalt yourself, you are setting yourself up for embarrassment. On the other hand, if you are worthy of being recognized, how much better it will be when someone else brings attention to it.
Luke 14:12-14-Jesus tells His host that when he has a party...invite people who cannot repay him...then God will repay him at the resurrection. No one can bless…like God can bless!
Luke 14:15-24-A man at the party commented that it will be a blessing for everyone who eats in the kingdom of God. His remark seemed to be so pious, so righteous…but it was actually just an attempt to defray the point of Jesus’ remark. As if the man thought that it wasn’t necessary to worry about the poor, cripple, lame and blind, now. They will have their chance for better things in God’s kingdom (Heaven), so we shouldn’t be too overly concerned with them, now. Jesus seizes the moment to tell a parable about those who are invited to enter the kingdom of God. He tells about a man who gave a big dinner party, many guests were invited. However, not everyone responded to the invitation. Those first invited have various excuses for not coming...
- I have bought some land and I need to go look at it (:18)
- I have bought some oxen and I am trying them out (:19)
- I have just gotten married (:20).
So, the host sends out an invitation to people he did not even know (:21), but there is still room for more people. Notice who he tells his servant to bring…the poor, crippled, blind and lame. These are the same ones that Jesus had told the host that he should invite to his parties. Finally, the host tells his servants to expand the search and "compel" (:23) people to come. The point of the parable is that we should treat people the same way on earth, as we anticipate they will be treated in Heaven. And, He concludes by saying that those who are invited but do not respond will not be allowed to participate. Once the party has begun in Heaven…the doors will be shut and there will be no second chance. As we found in the previous chapter (13:22-30). You don’t play games with God. When you receive His invitation to Heaven, you had better respond quickly in a positive manner. Time could run out for you and you will miss your chance, altogether. Make sure that you arrive on time!
Prayer: Lord, help me to not just love those who will love me back, or pay me back, or can do something for me. Please help me to love everyone equally. And Lord, please help me to always respond to You in the appropriate manner and time. Don’t let me be satisfied with lame excuses for not doing so.