Faith in  Christ   leads to action

 

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church in such a way as best responds to the pastoral needs and challenges of his audience.”[1] Therefore, the writings of Luke would have been an important pastoral and theological resource for the early church, and they continue to be an important ministry resource for the church today.

 

CONTEXT FOR THE PASSAGE AND THE EXEGETICAL STUDY

            The context of Luke 14:1-24 is that Jesus and his disciples are making their way from Galilee to Jerusalem. Jesus was invited by a leader of the Pharisees for a meal on the Sabbath. On the way, Jesus heals a man and challenges the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath. Jesus continues to teach at the Pharisee’s house, including two parables—one, the parable of the great dinner. This exegetical study must be considered within the entire passage of Luke 14:1-24.

Luke 14:1-24, which includes the text for exegesis, may be outlined as follows:

 

On the way to a Pharisee’s house, Jesus heals a man and teaches the Pharisees (vv. 1-6).
At the house, Jesus tells a parable about where to sit at a wedding banquet (vv. 7-11)

Conclusion: “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (v. 11)

Jesus advises the host to invite those who cannot repay to a banquet (vv. 12-14)

Conclusion:  “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (v. 14)

After another guest’s comment, Jesus tells a parable about the great dinner. (vv. 15-24)

A guest said that anyone who eats in the kingdom of God is blessed. (v. 15)
In Jesus’ parable, the ones who were invited declined, giving excuses. (vv 17-20)
The master told his slave to go out and invite the poor and infirmed. (vv. 21-22)
He told him to go out again into the roads, so that his house would be full. (v. 23)

Conclusion: “None of those who were invited [at first] will taste my dinner.” (v. 24)

 

            The outline shows that Jesus is clearly the principal figure. Jesus’ healing of a man opens the events of the day. However, the healing becomes an opportunity for teaching. Jesus teaches the Pharisees at the site of the healing, and his teaching continues at the house of the Pharisee who invited Jesus for a meal. Banquet settings become the backdrop for Jesus’ parables.


[1] David A. deSilva, An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004), 299.

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Jesus told the parable of the great banquet (or the great dinner) while at a meal at the home of a Pharisee. The parable portrays how the kingdom of God includes people who are downtrodden – the Pharisees had dismissed such people. The parable is in the context of humility (Luke 14:11).

The Parable of the Great Banquet