This study is based on Luke 14:12-27, “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
1. What is the context of this parable? Remember, context is always important as it sets the stage for why Jesus is talking about this parable.
- Luke 14:12-14
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
- Jesus is saying that when you have a dinner or supper, don’t just call your friends or those that are your relatives or those that are rich. Instead, call those that are poor, maimed, lame and blind. Then you will be blessed.
- Don’t invite those that can pay you back, but rather reach out to those that are not as fortunate as yourself.
- This is the background that Jesus starts with.
2. What does Luke 14:15 mean when the man said “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God?”
- He is looking forward to eating the heavenly bread. To be in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
- But who will be there?
3. So the parable begins with a certain man making a supper and inviting those that were bidden. However they did not come. Why?
- They gave excuses. The first said he had to go see a land that he had purchased. The second said he needed to go and “prove” (examine) five yoke of oxen that he had just purchased and the last said he had just gotten married and so he couldn’t come.
- These reasons all seem funny and shallow. Why?
- First reason – you should see the land before you actually purchase it.
- Second reason – you should examine the oxen before you buy it as well.
- Third reason – just doesn’t seem to be a valid excuse at all!
- These excuses happen to us a lot. We give them all the time. And sometimes they just don’t make sense.
4. Who does the king decide to call next?
- Luke 14:21
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
- He calls all the poor and unfortunate. Why? Because all his other friends did not want to come.
- His friends were rich – they had land, cows, etc. They definitely had the money but didn’t want to go.
5. Does God only care about the rich and not the poor? Definitely not. Remember that this is a parable? What do the rich and the poor represent?
- Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
- The wedding feast represents the wedding feast we will have in heaven one day.
- Who does the rich represent? Why didn’t they come?
- 1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- God doesn’t have anything problem with the rich men, but they are the ones that give the most excuses.
- It’s not that they are actually busy. It is pretended busy-ness.
- The problem is not that they are giving excuses, but they just think that they are really, really busy.
- 1 Timothy 6:17
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy
- While God blesses us with riches, we are reminded not to be highminded or arrogant or proud.
- 1 Timothy 6:10
- What does the riches do to us?
- James 2:5
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
- If the poor man is rich in faith, then the rich man has poor faith.
- According to the previous text in Timothy we read, it’s because we tend to trust in our riches more than we trust in God.
- James 2:5
- So the poor man, he came to the wedding feast and responded to the invitation because he was rich in faith and didn’t have anything that tied him to this world.
- He didn’t give any excuses because there were no excuses to give!
- Sometimes we can get so busy with chasing money and telling people how much we have that we excuse ourselves from heaven.
- In 1 Timothy 6:17 we are told not to trust in “uncertain riches” because that is exactly what it is. Riches are uncertain! Here today, gone tomorrow. Investment that can be gained so fast and be lost just as quickly.
So here is the conclusion to the parable about how the poor people responded to the wedding invitation as opposed to those that were rich:
- Luke 14:25-27
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
6. What does it mean when the Bible tells us we must hate father, mother, wife, children, brother, sister and even your own life?
- It’s not literal hate because He asks us to hate our own life as well. No one would hate their own life unless you are suicidal, and surely Jesus is not telling us to be like that.
- Let’s go to the parallel passage in Matthew.
- Matthew 10:37
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
- Matthew 10:37
- So what Jesus is saying is, we must not put even family above God.
- But what is interesting in this parable is that many people don’t put family above God. They will put possessions, wealth and their fortune. Only the last person put his wife above God. But many others focus on their wealth.
7. How can we make sure we don’t put family and riches and worries about our own life above God?
- Luke 14:28-30
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
- Jesus wants us to calculate the cost of being His disciple before we embark on this journey.
- Just as this man didn’t count the cost when he began to build his tower and he fell short and wasn’t able to finish it, so too with the Christian who embarks on this journey with Christ.
- Christ is saying, if you want to be my disciple, you have to be mine 100%. I must occupy first place above family and even your own life.
- Luke 14:31-33
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
- It makes more sense to consider first if you are able to win this war rather than running head-first into it and then determine you aren’t able to in the heat of battle.
- We must count the cost of being a follower of Christ if we are to eat bread in the kingdom of God one day.
- And what Jesus is saying is that many do not count that cost.
8. What does that have to do with the invitation to the marriage supper and the rich and the poor?
- The rich were obviously Christian. They heard the gospel invitation for them to come and follow Christ. However, they didn’t want to come because the cost of following was too great. They didn’t want to sacrifice and put Christ first.
- The poor were willing to follow and to heed the invitation because it was easier to leave this world behind. Their faith was not affected by their possessions because they didn’t have much. So when Christ’s call comes for them to sacrifice everything, they are willing to just pick up and go.
Does money change you? It changes a lot of people. We must be very careful with they way we treat money and how we spend it and the possession we have. The poor can also have the rich man’s mentality. We can also lock our heart onto something small because we worked so hard to purchase it. Whether that be a camera or a phone or a car.
Today, let us take an account of all that we have and ask ourselves – are we willing to give it all to Christ if He were to come and invite us today? Let’s pray that God would help us to be willing because riches are deceptive and many fall into the snares because of these uncertain riches.