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Christmas Reflections: Walk Through Luke - Chapter 14



The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


December 14

Day 14

Luke chapter 14

There are 24 chapters in this book

They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.


I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.


Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.


This is my commentary.


Who was Luke?

A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.


New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:

* Pharisee leader and his friends

* Crowds of people

* A whole bunch of people invited to dinner parties

* A construction engineer

* 2 “fictional” kings


DINNER WITH FRIENDS

This chapter starts out with another dinner party at a Pharisee’s house. Jesus was invited to a lot of these parties.

  • Do you know or work with people who act like they want you to be around but it’s just because they’re jealous or ruthless and have intent to hurt you because of their own weakness?

  • How about people who bow to peer pressure.


We believe some of these Pharisees likely DID believe Jesus - but were afraid to say so because their “friends” didn’t. The guests at this party were watching Jesus carefully trying to catch him saying or doing something to break the law.


JESUS POSES A CHALLENGE

Enter a man who was very sick and had lots of water retention in his body and was severely bloated. When Jesus saw him He addressed the guests of the dinner by asking a facetious question:

“Is it right for us to make someone well on our day of rest or not?”


If you read a former day (chapter) you’ll remember He was already questioned this af a different party.


Here’s what stumped me. They were at a DINNER so the Pharisees had to make SOMEONE break the law to prepare the food right?


It just crossed my mind - so they could decide who could and couldn’t break the law? Feel free to comment on my post if you have thoughts on that.


This is elitist.


So the cooks and servants were “allowed” to break to law so they could eat and have a fancy party?


Having a party was also actually breaking the law. It’s like politicians who want to TWIST the law to meet their own fancy.

So the question remains - follow the law? Or follow Jesus? Break the law? Don’t follow Jesus? They are all choices.

Anyway - the Pharisees also must have felt put on the spot or stumped as well because they refused to answer Jesus. So - He answered them by healing the man and sending him on his way.


ANOTHER QUESTION

Then Jesus asked a second question to the group:

“What if you had a child or one of your animals fall into a well on the sabbath? What would you do? You would pull them up immediately to safety.”

Nobody could refute what he said. Of course they would. They would save or protect someone they loved or something they considered valuable.


Jesus came to save something He loved that He also considered so valuable it was fashioned in his image - each of us.


BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE

As Jesus looked around he noticed that the guests were going for the best seats in the dining room and He decided to tell another story.

He said

  • “when someone invites you to a special dinner don’t sit in the best seats. A man more important than you may arrive later and the host may make you move which could embarrass you. You’ll have to move to the only place left - the cheap seats in the back of the room.

  • Instead - when you arrive go sit in the seats in the back. The host will see you there and may say “oh my friend - I have saved a better seat for you please come up front closer to me. Everyone will see this happen (what an honor!) and know you were important to the host.

  • This is the same as the kingdom of God. Some people lift themselves up to be important and say they’re better than other people. God will bring them down a notch. Other people know they’re not better than others and act humbly. God will lift them up to a good place.


I liked that last sentence. Vincent and I like the TV show The Good Place (we are so sad it’s over. If you never watched it see if you can watch the old episodes) and even though it’s not directly relevant - the gist of the show is that some normal average people are given a very important responsibility. Through their experiences they learn that they were chosen for certain assignments and they fully step into them and become more than “average”. They also think at one point that they’re in the “good place” because it’s so enticing and beautiful only to realize it’s not that place. Lots of awesome lessons in the show. Lots of awesome lessons left in this chapter too...


After that story - Jesus turned to the host and said

  • “when you give me a meal for lunch or dinner, don’t just ask your friends (rich neighbors) or family to come over. If you do - they’ll later ask you to eat at their house to repay you for your event.

  • Instead - when you prepare a big meal invite poor people to come, people with ailments too. Then God will be happy

  • They can’t repay you but God will reward you on the day he makes good people come alive again”


The people sitting near Jesus were intrigued and said to him “someday there will be a big dinner in the kingdom of God - but how happy will those people be?"

Jesus loved to answer questions with stories so he said:

  • “One day an important man prepared a huge and elaborate, fancy dinner party event and Invited lots of guests

  • When it was time for the event he sent his workers out to tell the people the event was starting

  • EVERY person invited gave an excuse about why they couldn’t come. One guy said he just bought some land and had to check on it. Another guy said he just bought 5 animals and needed to check on them. A third man said he just got married and couldn’t come. All lame excuses.

  • The workers told the event host what happened. He was hurt and angry since the event was paid for and had lots of food that would go to waste - plus he wanted to host the event. He told the workers to go out into the streets and find anyone he could, poor, lame, lonely, everyone. Invite them to the party.

  • So they did but there will still empty seats.

  • The host said “well go into the fields on the outskirts of our town and find the workers - I want my house full. But let me tell you guys THIS - none of the people I asked in the beginning are going to eat any of my food when they see how great this event will turn out to be””


The dinner party with Jesus ended with much for the guests to all think about.

Crowds of people followed Jesus from place to place. Once, he stopped and told them,”if someone wants to follow me, he must live like this:

  1. He must love me more than he loves his own parents,

  2. More than his wife and children,

  3. More than his brothers and sisters and friends

  4. He must love me even more than he loves himself

  5. If not he can’t follow me

  6. He must carry his own cross to go and die

  7. If he’s not ready to die for me he can’t be my disciple”

Then Jesus said “here’s an example.

Perhaps one of you decided to build a tall building

  • first you have to decide how much it’ll cost

  • Next you have to have enough money to pay for it

If you don’t do this you

  • might run out of money

  • You might build the first few floors and have to stop the rest of the construction

  • If you have to stop people will mock you and whisper about what a fool you are since you started to build something. You couldn’t finish”


Jesus gave even another example:

  • one king wanted to start a war with another king

  • He wasn’t sure he could win since his opponent had twice as many men in his army

  • He started questioning himself saying he couldn’t beat the other guy

  • So he sent a messenger ahead to tell the other king that he didn’t really want to fight but wanted to know what can be done to be friends


Jesus said “it’s like that for all of you. If you want to be my disciples you have to leave everything behind


Lastly he said to remember this “salt is good for seasoning food. But if it becomes not salty then it is no longer good. You can’t make it salty again. You can’t even get any benefit from it. Even if you try to use it as fertilizer it won’t make your soil good, so you’ll just throw it away.

side note: see below the benefits of using epsom salt in your garden and this might make more sense


Luke closed this chapter by Jesus saying “you have ears to hear so listen well to what I have said”

—-


Tomorrow chapter 15


PRAYER

Lord thank you for your word. May we all understand what you mean in these stories and listen to you talking to us even now. Jesus - let me be a host for people who need what I have despite being able to repay me. I know you’ll provide more than I need - but am asking for clarity about what this means. What am I serving? For who? Help me to not have less excuses but show up better when called. Lord let me be a person who is willing to take the last seat so that I may have a seat next to you one day soon. Help me to give up things that no longer serve me so that I can travel lightly. Help me to not only be a good starter, but a great finisher too. Lord I don’t want to lose my saltiness - thank you for daily renewal. I love you Lord. Amen.


MUSIC - the universal language

The song that resonates with me today is this one by Riley Clemmons https://youtu.be/JNZte3IdpZo


EXTRAS:

I’m not good at keeping orchids thriving. Not at all actually and it’s so frustrating. Here’s a short video on how epsom salt can potentially save your orchids. You’ll maybe find it interesting to see how this salt of the earth has so many health benefits https://youtu.be/7WuPPpIaEIM

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