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Luke 14:1-11

Sunday Morning Bible Study

July 17, 2016


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

14:1-6 Sabbath Healing

:1 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

rulersarchon – a ruler, commander, chief, leader

:1 the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees

Jesus is coming to eat at a Pharisees’ house.

The Pharisees were the ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism in Jesus’ day who lived their lives by a very strict code.
We usually see the Pharisees as causing trouble for Jesus, though here Jesus is invited to eat at the house of a chief Pharisee. (I think they had shawarma)

:1 on the Sabbath


Sabbath Law

Jesus has run into trouble in the past on the Sabbath, Saturday.
The disciples had been picking and eating wheat kernels in the fields on the Sabbath and got into trouble with the Pharisees.

(Luke 6:2 NKJV) And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”

On another Sabbath, Jesus was in a synagogue, and saw a man with a withered hand.

(Luke 6:7 NKJV) So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.

Of course, Jesus healed the man.

On another Sabbath, a woman showed up who had been bent over for eighteen years. 

(Luke 13:12–16 NKJV) —12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

I’ve had people say to me that Jesus wasn’t perfect, that He broke the law, that He broke the Sabbath Law.  Let’s examine that idea.
The Sabbath Law is actually a little vague.

(Exodus 20:8–11 NKJV) —8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

The question that the Jews had was, “Just what qualifies as ‘work’”?

The Mishna

Many Jews believe that the first five books of the Bible were NOT all that Moses received from God.  They also believe that God told Moses a lot more things, things that were passed down by word of mouth from rabbi to rabbi until they were finally written down 200 years after Jesus.  These teachings are called the Mishna.  They fill six volumes.

We don’t believe these were actual things given to Moses, but were developed by various rabbis over the years in order to interpret the meaning of the laws.

The Mishna has an entire book dedicated to the finer points of the Sabbath Law (the entire section has 24 chapters)

One example – it was against the law to tie a rope to your bucket at the well on the Sabbath, but it wasn’t against the law to tie a knot in your wife’s girdle on the Sabbath.  What do you do if you need water on the Sabbath?  Use your wife’s girdle to tie the bucket to the rope!

Chapter 1: Regulations Regarding Transfer

…A tailor shall not go out with his needle when it is nearly dark on Friday, lest he forget and go out (carrying it about with him) after dark …nor shall one search for vermin in his garments …

Chapter 3: Regulations Concerning stones, hearths, and ovens.

MISHNA II.: (Victuals) shall not be put either inside or on top of an oven that was heated with straw or with stubble; a firing-pot that was heated with straw or with stubble is (considered by the law) as a stone, but if it was heated with pressed poppy seed or with wood it is considered as an oven.

MISHNA III.: An egg shall not be put close to a boiler to get it settled, nor must it be wrapped in a hot cloth. R. Jose permits it; also it must not be put into hot sand or in the (hot) dust of the road that it be roasted (by the heat of the sun). It once happened that the inhabitants of Tiberias had laid a pipe of cold water through the arm of their hot springs. But the sages explained to them that on the Sabbath this water is considered like any other warmed on the Sabbath, and must not be used either for washing or drinking; and should this be done on a feast day, it is like water heated by fire, which may be used for drinking only, but not for washing.

MISHNA V.: Into a kettle, the hot water of which has been spilt out and which has been removed from the fire, cold water is not permitted to be poured, for the purpose of heating; but it is permitted to pour water into the kettle, or into a cup, for the purpose of making such water lukewarm.

Chapter 5: Regulations concerning what may and may not be worn by animals on the Sabbath

MISHNA I.: What gear may we let animals go about in and what not? The male camel in a bridle; the female cannel with a nose-ring; Lybian asses in a halter, and a horse in a collar.

Chapter 15:  Regulations concerning the tying and untying of knots

A woman may tie the slit of her tunic, the bands of her hood, the bands of her girdle, the straps of her shoes and sandals…R. Eliezer, the son of Jacob, says: “One may tie a rope in front of cattle, in order that they may not escape.” One may tie a bucket (over the well) with his girdle, but not with a rope.

Today in Israel life between Friday evening and Saturday evening is affected by the Sabbath laws.

It is considered against the Sabbath laws to turn on a light (considered to be “lighting a fire”) or press an elevator button.  Not to worry – lights are put on special Sabbath timers that turn them on and off.  Hotels have special “Sabbath Elevators” that will stop on every floor without you having to press a button.

Whenever Jesus is talking about the “traditions” of men, He is referring to the Mishna (which had not been written down yet in His day). Here’s what Jesus had to say about these “traditions”:

(Mark 7:9 NKJV) He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

Jesus saw these traditions straying from the heart and intent of God.

Jesus never broke the Law of God, but He did break their traditions, and He did it intentionally.

And now another Sabbath has come, and Jesus is being watched very carefully.

:1 they watched Him closely paratereo (“alongside” + “to watch”) – to stand beside and watch, to watch assiduously, observe carefully

(NAS) they were watching Him closely

(NIV) he was being carefully watched

They weren’t just hanging out with Jesus, these guys came to this house to study Jesus, what He said, and what He did.

:2 And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.

:2 dropsyhudropikos (“water” + “see”) – a term sometimes used for edema, an abnormal accumulation of body fluids.

Dr. Luke is giving us his diagnosis here.

Some part of this man’s body was swollen with fluid, whether it was a leg, an army, a hand, or some other body part.

:3 And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

:3 the lawyers

lawyersnomikos – pertaining to the law, one learned in the law; in the NT an interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law

Don’t think of secular legal attorneys here, but think of religious scholars, experts in the Law of Moses.

:3 Jesus, answering ...

answeringapokrinomai – to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer

The Pharisees haven’t actually verbally asked Jesus anything, but He knows what they’re thinking.  He knows that He’s being watched.  Before He does anything, He makes sure He has their attention and gets them to thinking.

He gets the question right out into the open.  He gives them a chance to object before He does anything.

to healtherapeuo – to serve, do service; to heal, cure, restore to health

:4 But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.

:4 they kept silent hesuchazo – to keep quiet; to rest, cease from labor

The word not only speaks of silence, but a calm demeanor as well.

:4 let him go apoluo – to set free; to let go, to loose the bonds of a captive and bid him depart

This is the same word used to describe the recent healing of the woman that was bent in two –

(Luke 13:12 NKJV) But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”

We could translate our verse, “He took him, and healed him, and loosed him.

:5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”

pull him outanaspao – to draw up

:5 donkeyonos – a donkey.  Some versions have “son” (huios).  No this is not a reference to Pinocchio becoming a donkey. This is one of those rare times when there’s a difference in manuscripts.

pitphrear – a well

has fallen intoempipto – to fall into

pull him outanaspao – to draw up

:5 pull him out on the sabbath day

This is very similar to the argument Jesus gave to the ruler of the synagogue after healing the bent over woman –

(Luke 13:15–16 NKJV) —15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

:6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

:6 they could not answer Him

could notischuo – to be strong; to have power; to be able, can

We could almost translate this, “they did not have strength to answer Him

answerantapokrinomai – to contradict in reply, to answer by contradiction, reply against

Jesus’ logic is perfect.  He’s shown them that they will make allowances in their traditions in order to benefit an animal or perhaps a son, but they won’t make an allowance to help another fellow human being.

In our society it looks like this:

It’s not okay to kill the whales. But it’s okay to kill unborn children.
How does this make sense?  It doesn’t.


People priorities

The Pharisees had come to the point where they thought that God cared only about the Law, and their interpretation of it. 
In reality, God is concerned about people.
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We need to be careful that we don’t find ourselves forming our own sets of rigid rules and ignoring the needs of people.
For example – many people who come to the Lord who have smoked all their life find that as they follow the Lord, they get to a place where they no longer need to smoke.

That’s great when people change their behavior out of love for the Lord.

But it becomes dangerous when we make it a rule and give people the impression that you can’t smoke and be a Christian at the same time.

“But” you say, “You are dishonoring the temple of God!!!” 

Well, how far do you take this?  Do you have everyone step up to the scale and say that if you’re overweight that you can’t be a Christian?  Do you say that if you eat Krispy Kreme donuts, you can’t be a Christian?

I hear that Krispy Kreme has now teemed with “Cheerwine” to produce a donut flavored soda!  Woohoo!

Don’t get me wrong, I think God wants us to take care of our health, but God’s first priority is your heart, not your outward appearance.
Be careful where your man-made rules go.

14:7-11 The Ambitious Guest

:7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

those which were invited kaleo – to call; to invite

Jesus has been invited to this meal at the house of a chief of the Pharisees.  Other Pharisees and experts in the Mosaic Law are there.  Jesus is going to address these guests.

:7 when he noted…

:7 he noted epecho – to observe; to give attention to; to check

These guys have been watching Jesus carefully (Luke 14:1).  Now He’s going to address something that HE SEES IN THEM!

:7 they chose the best places

the best places protoklisia (“first” + “chair”) – the first reclining place, the chief place at table

they choseeklegomai – to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one’s self

Apparently there had been some kind of jockeying for the best places at this meal.  These guys weren’t just looking for the most comfortable seats, they were looking for the most prestigious seats.

It might be that they are trying to impress this new Rabbi Jesus, but there are also sitting in the house of a “ruler” of the Pharisees.

The story Jesus is going to tell is aimed at these people looking for position.

:8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;

invitedkaleo – to call; to invite

weddinggamos – a wedding or marriage festival, a wedding banquet, a wedding feast

do not sit downkataklino – in the NT in reference to eating, to make to recline; to recline (at a table)

the best placeprotoklisia (“first” + “chair”) – the first reclining place, the chief place at table

more honorableentimos – held in honor, prized, precious

:8 lest one more honorable than you

More honorable in what way?  More honorable to the host of the wedding feast.

I can hear some of the people talking, “Well I’m really this guy’s best friend you know …”

In our culture, it might be like a guest arriving at the wedding reception, and sitting in a place that was reserved for someone in the wedding party.

:9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

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

“Give your seat to this guy”

with shameaischune – the confusion of one who is ashamed of anything, sense of shame; ignominy, disgrace, dishonour

The shame isn’t really in sitting at the last place, the shame is in having been embarrassed at not being at quite the high spot that you thought you deserved.

the lowesteschatos – extreme; last in time or in place; of rank, grade of worth, last i.e. lowest

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

:9 Give place to this man

So there you are sitting at a spot in the wedding reception that was reserved for the best man.  And the father of the bride walks up to you, clears his throat, and says, “Excuse me, but who do you think you are?”

Because the wedding reception is now underway, all the other seats are taken and the only chair available is the one next to the kitchen entrance.
The shame you will feel is not that you are now sitting in the poorest spot, but that you were found out to not be quite as important as you made yourself out to be.

I sometimes wonder if this principle might apply to other things we do.

How we might rush to be the “first in line”.
Or fight to get the best parking space.

:10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.

sit downanapipto – to lie back, lie down; to recline at a table, to sit back

the lowesteschatos – extreme; last in time or in place; of rank, grade of worth, last i.e. lowest

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

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

go up higherprosanabaino – to go up further; go up higher

higheranoteros – higher

glorydoxa – opinion, in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory

in the presence ofenopion – in the presence of, before

that sit at the table withsunanakeimai – to recline together, feast together; of guests

:10 sit down in the lowest place

If you’re going to be sitting in the wrong place, it’s better that you’re in a lower place so you get moved to a higher place when things get sorted out.

Of course there is no actual guarantee that the host will move you up to a higher position, but it would be better to already be in the last place than to be moved down to the last place in front of your friends.

:11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

whoeverpas – individually; each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything

exaltshupsoo – to lift up on high, to exalt; metaph. to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity; to exalt, to raise to dignity, honor and happiness

Present participle

will be humbledtapeinoo – to make low, bring low; to level, reduce to a plain; metaph. to bring into a humble condition, reduce to meaner circumstances; to assign a lower rank or place to; to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded

Future indicative

he who humblestapeinoo – to make low, bring low; to level, reduce to a plain; metaph. to bring into a humble condition, reduce to meaner circumstances; to assign a lower rank or place to; to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded

Present participle

will be exaltedhupsoo – to lift up on high, to exalt; metaph. to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity; to exalt, to raise to dignity, honour and happiness

Future indicative

What you do now will affect what will happen to you in the future.

If you choose to exalt yourself in the present, you will be humbled in the future.

If you choose to humble yourself in the present, you will be exalted in the future.

:11 whoever exalts himself will be humbled

If you make it your life’s aim to promote yourself, you will eventually find yourself in trouble.

It may not be in this lifetime, but one day when you stand before Almighty God, you will realize your mistake.



Pride could be defined as thinking you are greater than you really are.
(Romans 12:3 NLT) Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
See if you can tell which fighter thinks he’s greater than he actually is…
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Nebuchadnezzar didn’t just think he was the king of the world, he actually was the king of the world.
He had conquered the known world and was the most powerful person on the planet.
One night Nebuchadnezzar had a bizarre dream about a great tree, angelic watchers, and about the great tree being cut down.
When the prophet Daniel interpreted the dream for Nebuchadnezzar, he warned him that the dream was about his pride.
One year after the warnings, Nebuchadnezzar was strolling through his magnificent palace grounds…

(Daniel 4:30–31 NKJV) —30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” 31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!

The proud words were barely out of Neb’s mouth when God’s judgment came on him.

The great proud awesome king would live for a period of time as a cow, as a wild man.

Finally the day came when his pride was broken and he acknowledged that there was a God in heaven who was bigger than he was.

God restored him to his throne.

I think it’s possible we’ll see Nebuchadnezzar in heaven one day.

The Bible says that God is opposed to proud people.
(1 Peter 5:5b NKJV) …be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Do you want God “resisting” you?  Then take the warning about pride seriously.

On the other hand, if you want God to give you “grace”, then pay attention to humility.

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It’s not the big guy that gets the fish.  It’s the little guy, the humble one…

:11 he who humbles himself will be exalted



In our lives, there is only one that we should be exalting, and that’s Jesus.
That’s what John the Baptist did.
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After having baptized Jesus, John the Baptist faced a period of time when Jesus was becoming more popular than he was.

But John wasn’t upset at this.  John was happy.  It wasn’t about “him”.  He said,

(John 3:30 NKJV) He must increase, but I must decrease.

That’s humility.

In yesterday’s devotional email from Greg Laurie, he told a story about Billy Graham:
Years ago I had the privilege to be with Billy Graham at a crusade he was doing in Portland, Oregon. It was an amazing crusade, with an almost revival-like atmosphere in that very liberal city.
I remember one night in particular, when God seemed to really bless Billy’s message, with many people coming to Christ. We left the stadium together in a car, with Billy’s longtime friend T. W. Wilson driving, while I rode shotgun. Billy and his son Franklin were in the back seat.
As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I leaned over the back seat and said, “That was a great message tonight, Billy.”
Billy looked at me with those steely blue eyes and said, “It’s just gospel.”
I turned back around, feeling a little awkward. I was just trying to be friendly. I remember thinking to myself, “That didn’t go very well. I will say something else.” Turning back around again I said, “Billy, I love the point when you said Christ will re-sensitize your conscience. That was a great point.”
Again, Billy looked at me and said, “Well, He can.”
I didn’t turn around again on the ride back to the hotel! What I learned that night was that you couldn’t pin a compliment on Billy Graham. It was like water off a duck’s back, and he really didn’t want to hear it. His attitude was, “I just did my job. I’m a delivery boy, and I gave the message. Now the results are in the hands of God.”

Though I think it’s okay to simply say “thanks” when someone compliments you (and keep the other person from feeling awkward), I get the point.  Give Jesus the credit.  He’s the one who deserves the “special place” at the wedding feast.

I am learning in my life that humility isn’t something that comes natural to us.  It’s something you have to work at and cultivate.
Paul wrote,
(Philippians 2:3–11 NKJV) —3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Paul then went on to say that we need to work at being more like Jesus.

Several very special things took place on the night before Jesus was crucified, and one of them tends to be overlooked.
(John 13:1–5 NKJV) —1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

In a way, Jesus’ actions were a picture of what His entire life had been about.

He laid aside the glory of heaven and took on human flesh in order to serve us.

He ultimately served us by dying on the cross to pay for our sins.

Washing someone’s feet at a dinner was nothing more than common courtesy.

As you walked the dirty streets of Jerusalem during the day in your open-toed sandals, your feet would get quite dirty.

It was common for either a slave, or the lowest person on the totem-pole to be assigned the duty of washing the feet of the guests.

At the last Supper, none of the disciples volunteered to do the dirty job, so Jesus did it.

After Jesus washed their feet…

(John 13:12–17 NKJV) —12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

I believe that the secret of cultivating humility is learning to serve others.

It’s doing the jobs no one else wants to do.

It’s even serving those like Judas, who would betray you.

Remember the old adage, “I don’t do windows”?  God’s servants do windows.  God’s servants clean toilets.  God’s servants help those around them.

Take the last place.  Be willing to serve.