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Luke 14

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Healing Again on the Sabbath

14:1 Now 1  one Sabbath when Jesus went to dine 2  at the house of a leader 3  of the Pharisees, 4  they were watching 5  him closely. 14:2 There 6  right 7  in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 8  14:3 So 9  Jesus asked 10  the experts in religious law 11  and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath 12  or not?” 14:4 But they remained silent. So 13  Jesus 14  took hold of the man, 15  healed him, and sent him away. 16  14:5 Then 17  he said to them, “Which of you, if you have a son 18  or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 14:6 But 19  they could not reply 20  to this.

On Seeking Seats of Honor

14:7 Then 21  when Jesus 22  noticed how the guests 23  chose the places of honor, 24  he told them a parable. He said to them, 14:8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, 25  do not take 26  the place of honor, because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host. 27  14:9 So 28  the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then, ashamed, 29  you will begin to move to the least important 30  place. 14:10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host 31  approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ 32  Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but 33  the one who humbles 34  himself will be exalted.”

14:12 He 35  said also to the man 36  who had invited him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, 37  don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors so you can be invited by them in return and get repaid. 14:13 But when you host an elaborate meal, 38  invite the poor, the crippled, 39  the lame, and 40  the blind. 41  14:14 Then 42  you will be blessed, 43  because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid 44  at the resurrection of the righteous.”

The Parable of the Great Banquet

14:15 When 45  one of those at the meal with Jesus 46  heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone 47  who will feast 48  in the kingdom of God!” 49  14:16 But Jesus 50  said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet 51  and invited 52  many guests. 53  14:17 At 54  the time for the banquet 55  he sent his slave 56  to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ 14:18 But one after another they all 57  began to make excuses. 58  The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, 59  and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ 60  14:19 Another 61  said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, 62  and I am going out 63  to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 14:20 Another 64  said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’ 65  14:21 So 66  the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious 67  and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly 68  to the streets and alleys of the city, 69  and bring in the poor, 70  the crippled, 71  the blind, and the lame.’ 14:22 Then 72  the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ 73  14:23 So 74  the master said to his 75  slave, ‘Go out to the highways 76  and country roads 77  and urge 78  people 79  to come in, so that my house will be filled. 80  14:24 For I tell you, not one of those individuals 81  who were invited 82  will taste my banquet!’” 83 

Counting the Cost

14:25 Now large crowds 84  were accompanying Jesus, 85  and turning to them he said, 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate 86  his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, 87  he cannot be my disciple. 14:27 Whoever does not carry his own cross 88  and follow 89  me cannot be my disciple. 14:28 For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down 90  first and compute the cost 91  to see if he has enough money to complete it? 14:29 Otherwise, 92  when he has laid 93  a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, 94  all who see it 95  will begin to make fun of 96  him. 14:30 They will say, 97  ‘This man 98  began to build and was not able to finish!’ 99  14:31 Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down 100  first and determine whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose 101  the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 14:32 If he cannot succeed, 102  he will send a representative 103  while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace. 104  14:33 In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions. 105 

14:34 “Salt 106  is good, but if salt loses its flavor, 107  how can its flavor be restored? 14:35 It is of no value 108  for the soil or for the manure pile; it is to be thrown out. 109  The one who has ears to hear had better listen!” 110 

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1 tn Grk “Now it happened that one.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

2 tn Grk “to eat bread,” an idiom for participating in a meal.

3 tn Grk “a ruler of the Pharisees.” He was probably a synagogue official.

4 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.

5 sn Watching…closely is a graphic term meaning to lurk and watch; see Luke 11:53-54.

6 tn Grk “And there.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

7 tn Grk “behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this statement adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). Here it has been translated as “right” in the phrase “right in front of him,” giving a similar effect of vividness in the translation.

8 sn The condition called dropsy involves swollen limbs resulting from the accumulation of fluid in the body’s tissues, especially the legs.

9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the sequence of events (Jesus’ question was prompted by the man’s appearance).

10 tn Grk “Jesus, answering, said.” This is redundant in contemporary English. In addition, since the context does not describe a previous question to Jesus (although one may well be implied), the phrase has been translated here as “Jesus asked.”

11 tn That is, experts in the interpretation of the Mosaic law (traditionally, “lawyers”).

12 snIs it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” Will the Pharisees and experts in religious law defend tradition and speak out against doing good on the Sabbath? Has anything at all been learned since Luke 13:10-17? Has repentance come (13:6-9)?

13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the sequence of events (Jesus’ healing the man was in response to their refusal to answer).

14 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

15 tn Grk “taking hold [of the man].” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενος (epilabomeno") has been taken as indicating attendant circumstance.

16 tn Or “and let him go.”

17 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

18 tc Here “son,” found in Ì45,75 (A) B W Ï, is the preferred reading. The other reading, “donkey” (found in א K L Ψ Ë1,13 33 579 892 1241 2542 al lat bo), looks like an assimilation to Luke 13:15 and Deut 22:4; Isa 32:20, and was perhaps motivated by an attempt to soften the unusual collocation of “son” and “ox.” The Western ms D differs from all others and reads “sheep.”

19 tn καί (kai) has been translated here as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context. The experts, who should be expected to know the law, are unable to respond to Jesus’ question.

20 sn They could not reply. Twice in the scene, the experts remain silent (see v. 4). That, along with the presence of power working through Jesus, serves to indicate endorsement of his work and message.

21 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Grk “those who were invited.”

24 tn Or “the best places.” The “places of honor” at the meal would be those closest to the host.

25 tn Or “banquet.” This may not refer only to a wedding feast, because this term can have broader sense (note the usage in Esth 2:18; 9:22 LXX). However, this difference does not affect the point of the parable.

26 tn Grk “do not recline in the place of honor.” 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.

27 tn Grk “by him”; the referent (the host) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

28 tn Grk “host, and.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate this action is a result of the situation described in the previous verse. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

29 tn Or “then in disgrace”; Grk “with shame.” In this culture avoiding shame was important.

30 tn Grk “lowest place” (also in the repetition of the phrase in the next verse).

31 tn Grk “the one who invited you.”

32 tn Grk “Go up higher.” This means to move to a more important place.

33 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context, which involves the reversal of expected roles.

34 sn The point of the statement the one who humbles himself will be exalted is humility and the reversal imagery used to underline it is common: Luke 1:52-53; 6:21; 10:15; 18:14.

35 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

36 sn That is, the leader of the Pharisees (v. 1).

37 tn The meaning of the two terms for meals here, ἄριστον (ariston) and δεῖπνον (deipnon), essentially overlap (L&N 23.22). Translators usually try to find two terms for a meal to use as equivalents (e.g., lunch and dinner, dinner and supper, etc.). In this translation “dinner” and “banquet” have been used, since the expected presence of rich neighbors later in the verse suggests a rather more elaborate occasion than an ordinary meal.

38 tn This term, δοχή (doch), is a third term for a meal (see v. 12) that could also be translated “banquet, feast.”

39 sn Normally the term means crippled as a result of being maimed or mutilated (L&N 23.177).

40 tn Here “and” has been supplied between the last two elements in the series in keeping with English style.

41 sn This list of needy is like Luke 7:22. See Deut 14:28-29; 16:11-14; 26:11-13.

42 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate that this follows from the preceding action. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

43 sn You will be blessed. God notes and approves of such generosity.

44 sn The passive verb will be repaid looks at God’s commendation.

45 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

46 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

47 tn Grk “whoever” (the indefinite relative pronoun). This has been translated as “everyone who” to conform to contemporary English style.

48 tn Or “will dine”; Grk “eat bread.” This refers to those who enjoy the endless fellowship of God’s coming rule.

49 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

50 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

51 tn Or “dinner.”

52 sn Presumably those invited would have sent a reply with the invitation stating their desire to attend, much like a modern R.S.V.P. Then they waited for the servant to announce the beginning of the celebration (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1272).

53 tn The word “guests” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

54 tn Grk “And at.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

55 tn Or “dinner.”

56 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.

57 tn Or “all unanimously” (BDAG 107 s.v. ἀπό 6). "One after another" is suggested by L&N 61.2.

58 sn To make excuses and cancel at this point was an insult in the culture of the time. Regardless of customs concerning responses to invitations, refusal at this point was rude.

59 sn I have bought a field. An examination of newly bought land was a common practice. It was this person’s priority.

60 sn The expression Please excuse me is probably a polite way of refusing, given the dynamics of the situation, although it is important to note that an initial acceptance had probably been indicated and it was now a bit late for a refusal. The semantic equivalent of the phrase may well be “please accept my apologies.”

61 tn Grk “And another.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

62 sn Five yoke of oxen. This was a wealthy man, because the normal farmer had one or two yoke of oxen.

63 tn The translation “going out” for πορεύομαι (poreuomai) is used because “going” in this context could be understood to mean “I am about to” rather than the correct nuance, “I am on my way to.”

64 tn Grk “And another.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

65 sn I just got married, and I cannot come. There is no request to be excused here; just a refusal. Why this disqualifies attendance is not clear. The OT freed a newly married man from certain responsibilities such as serving in the army (Deut 20:7; 24:5), but that would hardly apply to a banquet. The invitation is not respected in any of the three cases.

66 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the preceding responses.

67 tn Grk “being furious, said.” The participle ὀργισθείς (orgisqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

68 sn It was necessary to go out quickly because the banquet was already prepared. All the food would spoil if not eaten immediately.

69 tn Or “town.”

70 sn The poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Note how the list matches v. 13, illustrating that point. Note also how the party goes on; it is not postponed until a later date. Instead new guests are invited.

71 tn Grk “and the crippled.” Normally crippled as a result of being maimed or mutilated (L&N 23.177). Καί (kai) has not been translated here and before the following category (Grk “and the blind and the lame”) since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

72 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the order of events within the parable.

73 sn And still there is room. This comment suggests the celebration was quite a big one, picturing the openness of God’s grace.

74 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the master’s response to the slave’s report.

75 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

76 sn Go out to the highways and country roads. This suggests the inclusion of people outside the town, even beyond the needy (poor, crippled, blind, and lame) in the town, and so is an allusion to the inclusion of the Gentiles.

77 tn The Greek word φραγμός (fragmo") refers to a fence, wall, or hedge surrounding a vineyard (BDAG 1064 s.v. 1). “Highways” and “country roads” probably refer not to separate places, but to the situation outside the town where the rural roads run right alongside the hedges or fences surrounding the fields (cf. J. A. Fitzmyer, Luke [AB], 1057).

78 tn Traditionally “force” or “compel,” but according to BDAG 60 s.v. ἀναγκάζω 2 this is a weakened nuance: “strongly urge/invite.” The meaning in this context is more like “persuade.”

79 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

80 sn So that my house will be filled. God will bless many people.

81 tn The Greek word here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which frequently stresses males or husbands (in contrast to women or wives). However, the emphasis in the present context is on identifying these individuals as the ones previously invited, examples of which were given in vv. 18-20. Cf. also BDAG 79 s.v. ἀνήρ 2.

82 sn None of those individuals who were invited. This is both the point and the warning. To be a part of the original invitation does not mean one automatically has access to blessing. One must respond when the summons comes in order to participate. The summons came in the person of Jesus and his proclamation of the kingdom. The statement here refers to the fact that many in Israel will not be blessed with participation, for they have ignored the summons when it came.

83 tn Or “dinner.”

84 sn It is important to note that the following remarks are not just to disciples, but to the large crowds who were following Jesus.

85 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

86 tn This figurative use operates on a relative scale. God is to be loved more than family or self.

87 tn Grk “his own soul,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context.

88 sn It was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion for the prisoner to be made to carry his own cross. Jesus is speaking figuratively here in the context of rejection. If the priority is not one’s allegiance to Jesus, then one will not follow him in the face of possible rejection; see Luke 9:23.

89 tn Grk “and come after.” In combination with the verb ἔρχομαι (ercomai) the improper preposition ὀπίσω (opisw) means “follow.”

90 tn The participle καθίσας (kaqisas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

91 tn The first illustration involves checking to see if enough funds exist to build a watchtower. Both ψηφίζω (yhfizw, “compute”) and δαπάνη (dapanh, “cost”) are economic terms.

92 tn Grk “to complete it, lest.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation and ἵνα μήποτε ({ina mhpote, “lest”) has been translated as “Otherwise.”

93 tn The participle θέντος (qentos) has been taken temporally.

94 tn The words “the tower” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

95 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

96 tn Or “mock,” “ridicule.” The person who did not plan ahead becomes an object of joking and ridicule.

97 tn Grk “make fun of him, saying.”

98 sn The phrase this man is often used in Luke in a derogatory sense; see “this one” and expressions like it in Luke 5:21; 7:39; 13:32; 23:4, 14, 22, 35.

99 sn The failure to finish the building project leads to embarrassment (in a culture where avoiding public shame was extremely important). The half completed tower testified to poor preparation and planning.

100 tn The participle καθίσας (kaqisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

101 tn On the meaning of this verb see also L&N 55.3, “to meet in battle, to face in battle.”

102 tn Grk “And if not.” Here δέ (de) has not been translated; “succeed” is implied and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

103 tn Grk “a messenger.”

104 sn This image is slightly different from the former one about the tower (vv. 28-30). The first part of the illustration (sit down first and determine) deals with preparation. The second part of the illustration (ask for terms of peace) has to do with recognizing who is stronger. This could well suggest thinking about what refusing the “stronger one” (God) might mean, and thus constitutes a warning. Achieving peace with God, the more powerful king, is the point of the illustration.

105 tn Grk “Likewise therefore every one of you who does not renounce all his own possessions cannot be my disciple.” The complex double negation is potentially confusing to the modern reader and has been simplified in the translation. See L&N 57.70.

sn The application of the saying is this: Discipleship requires that God be in first place. The reference to renunciation of all his own possessions refers to all earthly attachments that have first place.

106 tn Grk “Now salt…”; here οὖν has not been translated.

sn Salt was used as seasoning or fertilizer (BDAG 41 s.v. ἅλας a), or as a preservative. If salt ceased to be useful, it was thrown away. With this illustration Jesus warned about a disciple who ceased to follow him.

107 sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens: Under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), when asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be, both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.

108 tn Or “It is not useful” (L&N 65.32).

109 tn Grk “they throw it out.” The third person plural with unspecified subject is a circumlocution for the passive here.

110 tn The translation “had better listen!” captures the force of the third person imperative more effectively than the traditional “let him hear,” which sounds more like a permissive than an imperative to the modern English reader. This was Jesus’ common expression to listen and heed carefully (cf. Matt 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8).



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