Luke 14:12-24

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

September 26, 2001


What to do at dinnertime. Jesus had been invited to a meal at the house of one of the chief Pharisees. While He is there, a series of things happen and Jesus uses this dinner to bring help and instruction.

While He was there, a man with a disease called “dropsy” (or, edema) showed up. Since it was a Sabbath day, the Pharisees watched Jesus carefully to see if He would break their tradition of not allowing any “work” done on the Sabbath. Jesus addressed this issue and shows the Pharisees again that God’s heart is to help people, even on the Sabbath.

Then Jesus turns to talk to the other guests at the party. They had been pushing and shoving to get the best seats at the table, and Jesus teaches them that the best thing to do is the humble thing, to take the last seat.

As Jesus has talked about humility, He continues to use this dinner party…


:12 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 recompense be made thee.

that bade kaleo – to call; to invite

This is the man who is hosting the meal, a “chief of the Pharisees” (14:1)

dinnerariston – the first food taken early in the morning before work, breakfast; later usage: dinner

supper deipnon – supper, especially a formal meal usually held at the evening,

new translations (NAS, NIV) – “luncheon or dinner

friendsphilos – friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well

kinsmensuggenes – of the same kin, akin to, related by blood; in a wider sense, of the same nation, a fellow countryman

neighboursgeiton – a neighbour

richplousios – wealthy, abounding in material resources

bid thee againantikaleo – to invite in turn

recompense antapodoma – the thing paid back, requital

These people, your friends and such, will always pay you back.

:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

a feastdoche – a feast, banquet

callkaleo – to call; to invite

the poorptochos – reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms; destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour

the maimedanaperos – disabled in the limbs, maimed, crippled; injured in, or bereft of, some member of the body

the lamecholos – lame; deprived of a foot, maimed

the blindtuphlos – blind; mentally blind

:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

blessed makarios – blessed, happy

recompense antapodidomi – in a good sense, to repay, requite; in a bad sense, penalty and vengeance

Who are these people? People who can’t return your favor. These are people you might not normally associate with.

resurrection anastasis – a raising up, rising (e.g. from a seat); a rising from the dead

Jesus is talking about heaven here.

justdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God; approved of or acceptable of God

Does this mean I can’t ever spend time with my friends?

Not at all. Jesus spent time with His friends.

Just don’t think that it’s going to earn you any special rewards from the Lord.

The problem is when we get to the point where all we ever do is spend time with people we’re comfortable with.


Think outside your comfort zone.

In a way, Jesus has just demonstrated this to his host. Jesus had been invited to a dinner party, and for some, they might think that it’s time to relax and take it easy. But Jesus sees this man with dropsy and turns to heal the man.
These are the very people that God will in turn invite to His great Wedding Feast (14:21), so in a way, God is asking us to have the same heart that He has – a heart for the lost.
These invitations are actually way more than just asking someone over for dinner.  God wants us to be a part of His invitation to the world.
There are a lot of hurting people in the world right now.


:15 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.

sat at meat withsunanakeimai – to recline together, feast together; of guests

This is one of the people Jesus has just addressed, encouraging them to think of others, of the less fortunate.

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

The guy is responding to what Jesus has just said, about being “blessed” in the resurrection if you are one who reaches out to others. He’s saying that it will be a really great time in heaven.

Does everyone really think it’s going to be great in heaven?

Jesus is going to address this.  When the rubber meets the road, there are many people who don’t act like heaven is going to be all that great.

:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

supperdeipnon – supper, especially a formal meal usually held at the evening,

greatmegas – great

badekaleo – to call; to invite

:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

sent apostello (“apostle”) – to order (one) to go to a place appointed; to send away, dismiss

servantdoulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition; this is the word that Paul often uses to describe himself.

time hora (“hour”) – a certain definite time or season fixed by natural law and returning with the revolving year; any definite time, point of time, moment

supperdeipnon – supper, especially a formal meal usually held at the evening

This is kind of like when mom tells the family to come to the table because dinner is ready.

In a way, Jesus is probably talking about the nation of Israel here, being the ones who have been “invited” to God’s supper in heaven. Jesus and His apostles were in the process of telling Israel that it’s time to come to God’s supper. Everything is ready.

:18 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.

to make excuseparaiteomai – to ask along side, beg to have near one; to avert displeasure by entreaty; to beg pardon, crave indulgence, to excuse; of one excusing himself for not accepting a wedding invitation to a feast

This guy got to thinking that he’d rather spend his time looking after his new investments. He didn’t have time to go to a supper.

:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

to provedokimazo – to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals; to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

This guy also was more concerned about his investments. He had spent good money on some new oxen and he wanted to see how well these oxen would be working for him. He didn’t have time for a supper.

:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

marriedgameo – to lead in marriage, take to wife; to get married, to marry

This guy had a good reason, he wanted to spend time with his wife at home.

This too can sound pretty acceptable, after all, the Jews had a provision in their law that a man was able to be excused for military duty for a year when he first got married, so why bother with something like a supper?


Are you too busy for God’s invitation?

Ben Franklin said, “The man who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
A bold pastor sent the following notice to his congregation in the weekly church bulletin: To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special “No Excuse Sunday.” Special arrangements include the following—

*Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.

*Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, “Sunday is my only day to sleep in.”

*Murine will be available for those with tired eyes from watching television too late on Saturday night.

*Blankets will be provided for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who think the church is too hot.

*We will have hearing aids for those who say, “The Pastor speaks too softly,” and cotton for those who say he preaches too loudly.

*Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.

*There will be 100 T.V. dinners for those who cannot go to church and cook dinner also.

*We will have steel helmets for those who say, “The roof would cave in if I ever came to church.”

*Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.

We all have our priorities. I can imagine myself having been one of those people, thinking about how busy I am and that I don’t really have time to go to some party.
Some people are simply too busy with the ordinary business of life. They have places to go, things to do. They don’t have time for something that seems so insignificant like “religion”. Others seem to have more noble priorities, they want to spend time with their spouse or their family. It’s more important to spend time with the family at the river than to go to church.
But what if the one that is inviting you is God? This is no ordinary dinner party.

:21 So that servant came, and showed 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.

cameparaginomai – to be present, to come near, approach; to come forth, make one’s public appearance

showedapaggello – to bring tidings (from a person or a thing), bring word, report; to proclaim, to make known openly, declare

being angryorgizo – to provoke, to arouse to anger; to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth

Who is the master angry with? Is He angry with the servant? No. He’s angry with those who were invited but did not respond to the invitation.

master of the houseoikodespotes – master of the house, householder

streetsplateia – a broad way, a street

lanesrhume – a swing, rush, force, trail, of a body in motion; a tract of way in a town shut in by buildings on both sides; a street, a lane

It would seem that the words describe things that are close by – reaching out to places near you, reaching out to your local city.

the poorptochos – reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms; destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour

the maimedanaperos – disabled in the limbs, maimed, crippled; injured in, or bereft of, some member of the body

the haltcholos – lame; deprived of a foot, maimed

the blindtuphlos – blind; mentally blind

These are the exact same words Jesus used back in verse 13 to describe who we ought to be inviting to our parties.

We need to be inviting people who aren’t going to be able to “pay us back”. Don’t just be thinking of wealthy people to invite to church, invite those who are needy.

:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

commandedepitasso – to enjoin upon, order, command, charge

roomtopos – place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space

:23 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.

highwayshodos – a way; a travelled way, road; a travellers way, journey, travelling

hedgesphragmos – a hedge, a fence; that which separates, prevents two from coming together

compel anagkazo – to necessitate, compel, drive to, constrain; by force, threats, etc.; by permission, entreaties, etc.; by other means. Sounds like a pretty strong word.

may be filledgemizo – to fill, fill full

God just wants to have a full house.


We’ve got to reach out

God’s desire is that we see that the church works outside these walls.
I was totally thrilled with what the Youth Group did the other day, having a barbecue at Independence Park and giving out free hotdogs to the skateboarders, then talking to them about Jesus.
We need to be doing more than just reaching out to our city, God’s desire is that we also think in terms of the world as well, sending groups even to foreign countries.


:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

shall tastegeuomai – to taste, to try the flavour of


Hearing isn’t enough

Jesus is probably speaking about the Israelites that He has been speaking to. It isn’t enough for them to just have an “invitation”, they must respond to the invitation.
If a person hears about the gospel, it isn’t enough unless they respond and come to the dinner.