God’s Word of Wisdom
Luke 14:15-35: Today’s reading opens with a parable about a great feast and Jesus’s teaching about the consequences of ignoring God’s invitation. The reading concludes with Jesus’s teaching about the meaning of true discipleship and allegiance to him.
The Parable of the Great Feast
15When one of the guests sitting at the table heard this, he said to Jesus, “How happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God!”
16Jesus said to him, “There was once a man who was giving a great feast to which he invited many people. 17When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell his guests, ‘Come, everything is ready!’ 18But they all began, one after another, to make excuses. The first one told the servant, ‘I have bought a field and must go and look at it; please accept my apologies.’ 19Another one said, ‘I have bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to try them out; please accept my apologies.’ 20Another one said, ‘I have just gotten married, and for that reason I cannot come.’ 21The servant went back and told all this to his master. The master was furious and said to his servant, ‘Hurry out to the streets and alleys of the town, and bring back the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22Soon the servant said, ‘Your order has been carried out, sir, but there is room for more.’ 23So the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the country roads and lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you all that none of those who were invited will taste my dinner!’”
The Cost of Being a Disciple
25Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26 “Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. 27 Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples. 28If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. 29If you don’t, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of you. 30‘You began to build but can’t finish the job!’ they will say. 31If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. 32If he isn’t, he will send messengers to meet the other king to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off. 33In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.
(Matthew 5.13; Mark 9.50)
34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. 35It is no good for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown away. Listen, then, if you have ears!”
Today’s Key Verse: Luke 14:27
[Jesus said:] “Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples.”
In today’s opening parable (verses 15-24), Jesus again lifts up “the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame” as he did in yesterday’s reading (Luke 14:13). What is your understanding of why Jesus does this? Are there parallels today regarding people giving excuses for ignoring God’s invitation? In today’s reading, verses 25-27 echo those that appear earlier in Luke 12:49-53 (part of the reading for September 5). What do these verses convey to you about commitment to following Jesus? Is such a commitment hard? Why or why not? In what ways do you demonstrate your loyalty to Jesus?
Lord Jesus, with all my heart I seek to follow you and be your disciple. Help me to cling to your Word and uphold me when I am weak and facing challenges to your teachings. Keep me close to you always. Amen.
Luke 16:1-13: Jesus teaches about faithfulness to God.