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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 14 – Christogenea on Talkshoe, September 7th, 2012
1 And it happened while He entered into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread that they were watching Him closely.
The opponents of Christ had been watching to entrap Him since the “time if His coming forth”, as it says in Luke chapter 11, “laying in wait for Him to catch something from His mouth.”
2 Then behold, there was a certain edematous man before Him.
The word ὑδρωπικός (5203) is an adjective, “dropsical” (Liddell & Scott), an “edematous man” here. From ὕδρωψ, “dropsy” (Liddell & Scott), the word is an archaic term for edema, “an excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue spaces or a body cavity” (The American Heritage College Dictionary), and derived from ὕδωρ “water”.
3 And responding Yahshua spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees saying: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4 But they were silent. Then taking him, He cured and released him. 5 And he said to them “Of which among you should a son or a steer fall into a well, and you should not immediately pull it out on the day of the Sabbath?” 6 And they were not able to argue against these things.
The statement here was a direct challenge to the interpretations of Biblical law extant among the various sects of the time. For instance, in the writings of the Qumran sect, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it is found in a portion of the Damascus Document (4Q271, Fragment 5, Column 1: “No-one should help an animal give birth on the Sabbath day. And if it has fallen into a well or a pit, he shall not take it out on the Sabbath...And any living man who falls into a place of water or a well, no-one should take him out with a ladder or a rope or a utensil.”
There are many things in Scripture which are not written explicitly, but are certainly self-evident. From the 110th Psalm:
Psalm 110:1 “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. 7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
This Psalm is clearly a Messianic prophecy. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, and the beginnings of the law and the corresponding Levitical priesthood, and Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, and is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, as Paul explains in Hebrews chapters 8, 9 and 12. Therefore as the Levites worked to dispense the mercy of God on the Sabbath, attending to the sacrifices, Christ also did that same thing, taking the role of priest to dispense the mercy of God on the Sabbath, albeit in a different and better way. That is how He tells us that the “the Son of Man is lord also of the Sabbath”, which is recorded at Luke 6:5.
In Christ, each Christian man is also a priest in his own household, as Peter says in his first epistle, “But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, so that you should proclaim the virtues for which from out of darkness you have been called into the wonder of His light”. Therefore not needing any other priesthood, there is no other authority but Christ which should rule over our faith. For this reason even Paul told the Corinthians that even he would not rule over their faith, in 2 Corinthians 1:24. And for this reason Paul also told the Colossians in chapter 2 of the epistle he wrote to them: “16 Therefore no one must judge you in food and in drink, or in respect of feast or new month or of the Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of future things. Whereas the body is of the Anointed”. So as Christ was, each of us are the priests and lords of our own Sabbaths.
7 Then He spoke a parable to those who were invited [to this dinner that this leader of the Pharisees was holding], noting how they chose the best seats,
The word πρωτοκλισία (4411) appears in verses 7 and 8, and in the plural it is best seats here, but it is literally first couches. The Greeks ate while reclining upon couches, and not seated at tables.
saying to them: 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, you should not sit down in the best seats, lest perhaps one more honorable than you should be invited by him 9 and coming, he who invited you and him should say to you ‘Give place to him’. And then you should begin with shame to occupy the worst place. 10 Rather, when you are invited, go recline in the worst place, in order that when he who invited you comes he may say to you ‘Friend, advance higher’. Then it shall be an honor to you before all of those reclining with you. 11 Because everyone who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he humbling himself shall be exalted.”
The phrase “the worst place” is literally “the last place”, where I have taken the liberty of writing worst for ἔσχατος (2078), in contrast to the first, or here best seats, as πρωτοκλισία is rendered here.
Those of us who humble themselves, and defer to the brethren, Yahweh will reward them later. Those of us who exalt themselves will be humbled later.
12 Then He also said to he who invited Him [to one of the leaders of the Pharisees]: “When you should make a lunch or a dinner, do not call your friends nor your brethren nor your kinsmen nor wealthy neighbors [γείτων], lest perhaps then they in turn should invite you and it would be a repayment to you. 13 Rather, when you should hold a reception, call the poor, crippled, lame, blind, 14 and you would be blessed, because they have nothing to repay you. Indeed it shall be repaid to you in the resurrection of the righteous.”
Proverbs 16: “18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Psalm 138: “6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”
1 Corinthians 1: “27 But Yahweh has chosen the foolish of the Society, in order that He disgrace the cunning; and Yahweh has chosen the feeble of the Society, that He disgrace the strong; 28 and the low born of the Society, and the despised, Yahweh has chosen: those that are not in order that He may annul those that are; 29 so that not any flesh shall boast in the presence of Yahweh.”
Deuteronomy 7: “6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
All other things being equal among the Adamic nations, the children of Israel were a humbled people, in slavery, when Yahweh called His son out of Egypt, and they were few in number. He did not call a rich and mighty Adamic nation, such as Egypt or Assyria, but a poor and humble one. Christ wants us to look upon our people likewise, and to follow the example of our God.
15 And one of those reclining together hearing these things said to Him “Blessed is whoever should eat bread in the kingdom of Yahweh!” 16 So He said to him: “A certain man had held a great dinner, and invited many. 17 And he sent his servant at the hour of the dinner to say to those invited ‘Come, because it is already prepared!’ 18 Then they all began at once asking to be excused. The first said to him ‘I have bought a field and departing I have need to see it. I ask you, have me be excused.’ 19 And another said ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen and I should go to inspect them. I ask, have me be excused.’ 20 Then another said ‘I have married a woman and because of this I am not able to come.’ 21 And appearing the servant reported these things to his master. Then being angry the master of the house said to his servant: ‘Go out quickly into the avenues and streets of the city, and bring here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said ‘Master, that which you have commanded is done, and there is still space.’ 23 And the master said to the servant ‘Go out into the roads and parks then compelling to enter in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that not one of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner!’”
On the surface this seems like a different version of the famous Parable of the Wedding Feast given by Christ in Matthew chapter 22. However while the general theme is similar, there are many significant differences, and we have seen sufficient other instances of Christ's having used the same or very similar allegories at diverse times to accept that this also is a different episode and a different parable entirely. The Matthew 22 parable is related after the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem, and this one is related a short time before that event. The Matthew 22 parable is given by Christ in the temple, and this one at a private dinner. The Matthew 22 parable is given to a general audience of the people and the priests in a public place, and this one is given to a more specific audience of men invited to a dinner in a private home. Therefore it is entirely plausible that these are two different parables related at two different times, which just happen to use similar allegories. While all of the Bibles I have checked cross-reference this parable with that of Matthew 22, they should not be cross-referenced at all. The Matthew 22 parable, given to a wider audience, is ostensibly about race. This parable, given to an apparently smaller audience, is about status and has nothing to do with race.
The men who were invited to the feast must represent those who were learned in the Scriptures, for they would have been familiar with the invitation in the calling of the Scriptures, and therefore they represent the clerical class in Judaea. Christ is making an example of the priests and lawyers whom He is together with at the dinner. We have read earlier in the chapter in verse 11 that “everyone who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he humbling himself shall be exalted”. When those who should have known of the invitation were too involved in their own affairs to come to the feast, the feast was filled with the common and humble people taken from the streets, the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. The calling of God is not according to man, marked by who is successful in the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. The lesson is the same as that related in the verses before the parable was given, that Yahweh chooses the humble, the meek, the unlearned, in order to confound the wisdom of the world, and set at naught those who have elevated themselves into positions in society.
25 And there gathered to Him many crowds, and turning He said to them: 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and woman and children and brothers and sisters then also even his own life, he is not able to be My student.
This is not teaching us to abandon our families, and if one thought that it were, then one would have to also accept that it teaches us to abandon our own lives in that same manner, which is destructive and not edifying. What it is teaching us, is that we must put our God before our families, and once we realize the will of our God through our coming to Christ, we must hate the things which our families espouse, and we must also hate the things which we ourselves have done or espoused in the past, and turn away from them. Only once we turn away from the evils of the world, can we learn from our God. The second commandment is to honor our earthly fathers and mothers, and we do not abandon it. Yet the first commandment is to honor our God, and that has preeminence over the rest of our lives.
Ephesians 6: “1 Children, you must obey your parents in authority, for this is just. 2 “Honor your father and mother”, which is the first commandment with a promise, 3 'that it would be well with you, and that you may be a long time upon the earth.'” But Paul said “in authority”, and therefore we put our God first, obeying His will.
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come behind Me is not able to me My student.
To see what this means, we must turn to the words of Christ, to see how He described His work on the cross. From John 15:9-17: “9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. You abide in My love. 10 If you will keep My commandments you shall abide in My love, just as I have kept the commandments of My Father and I abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you in order that My joy would be in you and your joy would be fulfilled. 12 This is My commandment: that you love one another just as I have loved you. 13 A greater love than this no one has: that one would lay down his life on behalf of his friends. 14 You are My friends if you would do the things which I command you. 15 No longer do I call you a servant, because a servant does not know what his master does. But you I have proclaimed friends because all things which I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have ordained you in order that you should go and bear fruit and your fruit would abide, that whatever you may ask the Father in My Name He would give to you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.”
So Christ both laid down his life for his friends, on the cross He told us to take up, and then commanded us to love one another. Therefore Paul wrote at Romans 13:8: “8 You owe to no one anything, except to love one another: for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
“The sacrifice of the individual existence is necessary in order to assure the conservation of the race.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, James Murphy edition, page 94.
“For me and for all genuine National-Socialists there is only one doctrine. People and Fatherland. What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed, the freedom and independence of the Fatherland; so that our people may be enabled to fulfil the mission assigned to it by the Creator.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, James Murphy edition, page 125.
Hitler, while speaking of education in Germany, also said: “In the historical department the study of ancient history should not be omitted. Roman history, along general lines, is and will remain the best teacher, not only for our own time but also for the future. And the ideal of Hellenic culture should be preserved for us in all its marvellous beauty. The differences between the various peoples should not prevent us from recognizing the community of race which unites them on a higher plane. The conflict of our times is one that is being waged around great objectives. A civilization is fighting for its existence. It is a civilization that is the product of thousands of years of historical development, and the Greek as well as the German forms part of it. A clear-cut division must be made between general culture and the special branches. To-day the latter threaten more and more to devote themselves exclusively to the service of Mammon. To counterbalance this tendency, general culture should be preserved, at least in its ideal forms. The principle should be repeatedly emphasized, that industrial and technical progress, trade and commerce, can flourish only so long as a folk community exists whose general system of thought is inspired by ideals, since that is the preliminary condition for a flourishing development of the enterprises I have spoken of. That condition is not created by a spirit of materialist egotism but by a spirit of self-denial and the joy of giving one's self in the service of others.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, James Murphy edition, pages 237-238.
The Christian obligation is to lay aside materialism, and to seek the good of our brethren, our kinsmen and our race. Adolf Hitler, perhaps the last great Christian leader we have had, understood all of this, and it is no wonder the enemies of Christ sought to destroy him. They seek to continually discredit him so that his social and economic policies are not examined and taken seriously by Christians today. If Christians followed his example, or if they merely put their Christianity in practice, the enemies of Christ would have no power in the world.
28 For who from among you desiring to build a tower does not first sit to calculate the expense, whether he should have for completion? 29 That perhaps laying its foundation and not being able to finish it, all those watching begin to mock him 30 saying that ‘this man began to build and is not able to finish!’ 31 Or what king going to meet another king in battle does not first sit down to deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to encounter he who with twenty thousand is coming against him? 32 And indeed if not, while he is afar off he shall send an ambassador who requests the things for peace.
If we want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, then we must prepare ourselves for it properly. We are not going to be able to enter it without that preparation, or we will stumble and suffer trial for it.
33 So then in this manner all among you who does not dispose of all his own belongings is not able to be My student.
Here is the conclusion of that preparation: if we truly seek the Kingdom of God, then we are to count our property and our blessings which we acquire from God as belonging to our brethren, and not to ourselves alone. This is a hard pill for many to swallow, even in Christian Identity, but if we do not help our brethren with what Yahweh our God has blessed us with, then we are not fit for His kingdom.
Yet the verb translated “dispose of” here, which is ἀποτάσσω, does not necessarily mean to get rid of, in the immediate sense, and the English word dispose does not necessarily have that connotation either. Rather, the Greek verb means primarily “to set apart, assign specially”, as well as “to bid farewell” in certain contexts, according to the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon. So at the very least, Christians seeking the Kingdom of God should designate the use of their wealth, goods and property to their brethren as well as themselves.
34 “Therefore good is the salt, but if also the salt has lost its savor, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 It is well fit for neither the earth nor for the dunghill. They shall cast it outside! He having an ear must hear!”
A literal reading of verse 34 is “Therefore good is the salt, but if also the salt is made silly, with what shall it be prepared?”
From Luke chapter 18, we may gain a deeper understanding of what Christ intends here in Luke chapter 14:
18 And one of the leaders questioned Him saying “Good Teacher, what should I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 19 And Yahshua said to him “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one, Yahweh. 20 Know the commandments: You should not commit adultery, you should not murder, you should not steal, you should not testify falsely, honor your father and mother.” 21 Then he said “All these things I have kept from youth!” 22 And hearing it Yahshua said to him: “Then one thing is left for you: All whatever you have, sell and distribute to the poor, and you shall have treasure in the heavens. Then come, follow Me.” 23 But hearing these things he had become very grieved, for he was exceedingly wealthy.
24 Then seeing him Yahshua said: “How difficultly those having riches enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh! 25 Indeed it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh.” 26 And those listening said “Then who is able to be saved?” 27 So He said “Things impossible with men are possible with Yahweh!” 28 Then Petros said “Look, we leaving our own things have followed you!” 29 And He said to them: “Truly I say to you, that there is no one who has left a house or wife or brother or parents or children because of the Kingdom of Yahweh 30 who would by no means recover many times more in this time, and eternal life in the age which is coming!”
If the rich man had followed Yahshua's suggestion, perhaps he would have a great reward in heaven. Since he did not, while he himself shall be saved, his reward in heaven will be little, for he cared for his earthly treasures more than for the heavenly.