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would constitute a vivid parable of Jesus’ socially elite, Pharisaical table companions.”[1] The man with dropsy had a condition of swelling due to excess bodily fluids. The Pharisees were also in need of healing for their excesses. Jesus took the opportunity to heal the man with dropsy and extended the teaching to the Pharisees who were nearby. Furthermore, Jesus would continue to teach important truths at the host Pharisee’s home.

 

              Jesus tells a parable about where to sit at a wedding banquet (vv. 7-11)

           Jesus observes the way that the guests choose where to sit. They make their choices based on what they think will bring honor to themselves, or what they believe reflects the honor they are due. Honor and avoidance of shame were influential societal values. Jesus perceives a teaching moment. His parable is spoken directly to those present (rather than telling it in the third person). Even so, the parable is situated in different circumstances—at a wedding banquet, not at the Pharisee’s house. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,' and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place” (Lk 14:8-9 NRSV)
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            It seems like an awkward moment, that Jesus, an invited guest, would instruct the other guests on where to sit at a wedding banquet. Apparently Luke wants to make it clear that the message in this setting of the Pharisee’s home connects to the event earlier described of the healing of the man with dropsy—that is, the Pharisees need healing from their swollen spiritual condition of pride, analogous to the man with dropsy needing healing from his swollen physical condition. Because of the Pharisees’ condition, they have missed the messiah of the true banquet,


[1] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997), 547.

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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