Luke 14:1-24

Luke 14:1-24

In Luke 14:1-24, we see a few different sections of the same setting: a dinner party. There are four main principles that I think we can draw from these verses today.

1. Loving people is more important than loving traditions.
Verses 1-6 show an exchange of Jesus and the Pharisees talking about whether it was ok to heal someone on the Sabbath. According to the traditions of the Pharisees, this would be considered “work” unfit for the Sabbath. Jesus’ explanation is that none of them would let their son or ox, things that would matter to them, suffer harm, even if it meant breaking one of their traditions. Jesus is showing them that the true law, to love God and love others, would not interpret the Sabbath in such a way that you allow people to suffer harm just to keep a “tradition.”

2. Loving humility is more important than loving positions.
Next, in verses 7-11, Jesus teaches on the value of humility. Humility is not just a good, moral character trait—it is an overflow of a heart that loves and worships God alone. Jesus says: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” How counterintuitive is this? This goes completely against sinful nature and the cultural moment. This is not talking about a false humility that is performed to obtain exaltation, it is heart level humility that can only be brought about by a redeemed heart that Christ has saved and is sanctifying.

Notice, too, that verse 11 emboldens us to humble ourselves! What great encouragement, that because of Christ, we can choose this posture of humility that we so desperately need.

3. Loving people selflessly is more important than loving people conditionally.
Verses 12-14 remind us of how easy it is to love others, not for who they are, but what they can give you. Now, it’s obviously not inherently wrong to love people that love you or that you love being around or who help you. But what happens when they do something that makes you feel less loved by them? Do you still maintain strong love for them no matter what?

Or what about the people in your life who take advantage of you? Or can offer you nothing in return for your time or resources? Part of what it means to love people like Jesus is that it involves risk.

4. Loving the genuine Jesus is more important than loving the idea of Jesus.
The last section of verses, 15-24, Jesus is speaking in a parable about people being invited to a banquet. This is referring to people being invited into the kingdom of God. What is clear is that Jesus is calling out the people who essentially make excuses and are choosing things over Jesus instead of Jesus himself. From the passage, it is safe to say that he is calling out religious leaders who like the idea of being religious more than genuinely loving God.

By: Graham Withers

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