The Parables of Jesus # 9
Honor at a banquet
Luke 14:1-14

Luke 14:1-6
  1.   And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the   
        sabbath day, that they watched him.
  2.   And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
  3.   And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath
        day?
  4.   And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
  5.   And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not
        straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
  6.   And they could not answer him again to these things.

Verse 1 - And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the
sabbath day, that they watched him.

  [A] It was the Sabbath day
         [1] We find Jesus again, at a Pharisee’s house on the Sabbath day sitting down for a meal
         [2] I find it interesting how often we find Jesus in a situation like this.
                 [a] Why is it that he is invited to come to these meals?
                 [b] Why is it that he accepts the invitation?
                 [c] Would you accept an invitation to someone’s house if you knew the sole purpose for
                          having you was to try to trap you in order to maybe have evidence to kill you?   

 [B] What is a Pharisee
         [1] The word Pharisee is derived from a Hebrew word which means to separate
                 [a] The Pharisee’s were a separate group,
                 [b] The were a very large group of men in Israel
         [2] The Pharisee’s were extremely accurate and minute in all matters pertaining to the law of Moses
         [3] There was much that was sound in their creed and doctrine, but their system of religion was a form and
                  nothing more.
         [4] Their religion was a very lax morality – but strong in legalism
         [5] From the very beginning of Christ’s ministry the Pharisees were bitter enemies of our Lord. They could
                  not bear his doctrines, and they sought by every means to destroy his influence among the people.

 [C] They watched Jesus
         [1] Its obvious why the Pharisee’s wanted Jesus to be there
                 [a] They wanted to watch him
                 [b] They wanted to find fault in him
                 [c] They sought to destroy him

Verse 2 - And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.

 [A] We looked at these next verses at an earlier time, back in lesson six. We will not bother to discuss them again
 [B] I will note that apparently Jesus had been set up, possible even the sick man had been brought to the feast to
          see what Jesus would do.
         [1] What did he do?
                 [a] He healed the man
                 [b] He asked them a question they could not answer
                 [c] Than he told them a parable

Luke 14:7-14                
  7.   And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the
        chief rooms; saying unto them.
  8.   When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more
        honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
  9.   And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with
        shame to take the lowest room.
  10. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh,
        he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that
        sit at meat with thee.
  11. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
  12. Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends,
        nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a
        recompence be made thee.
  13. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
  14. And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the
        resurrection of the just.

Verse 7 - And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief
  rooms; saying unto them.

  [A] The parable
          [1] Take notice that this parable does not begin as many of the others do by saying, “The Kingdom of
                  Heaven.”
          [2] This parable is a little different,
                  [a] In this parable, Jesus gives the rule of proper manner when attending a feast,
                  [b] It is a parable about humility one should manifested on such occasions.

  [B] Those that were bidden
          [1] Those who had been invited
          [2] Those whom the Pharisee had invited that day
          [3] One has to ask,
                  [a] What was Jesus doing there?
                  [b] Why did the Pharisee ask him to come?
                  [c] Why did Jesus go, knowing that he would be tested and tried?
 
  [C] When he marked how they chose out the chief rooms
          [1] The word room here does not mean a literal room.
          [2] It does not mean an apartment, but instead it is referring to the higher places at the table;
                  [a] The higher places were nearest the head of the table and to him who had invited them.
          [3] It would correct to render the word room, the uppermost places or couches at feasts.
                  [a] To understand this one must first understand that it was the custom among the Jews not to eat
                          sitting up, as we do, but instead they reclined on couches.
                  [b] The table was made with three tables, raised like ours, and placed so as to form a square, with a      
                          clear space in the midst, and one end quite open.
                  [c] On the sides; of the tables were placed cushions, capable of containing three or-more Persons. On
                          these the guests reclined, leaning on their left side with their feet extended from the table,
                  [d] They lay in such a position that their head naturally reclined on the bosom of another person.
                  [e] The chief seat, or the uppermost one, was the middle couch at the upper end of the table. This was
                          the seat that the Pharisees loved, as a post of honor and distinction.
          [4] As Jesus looked around the table, he noticed how the Pharisees tried to gain the highest seats of honor,
                  He marked how they choose the chief seats
 
Verses 8-9 - When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable
  man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and
  thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

  [A] When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding
          [1] When you are invited
          [2] In the time of Jesus, Weddings were a big event.
                  [a] Invitations were given long before the event
                  [b] Preparations were made for multitudes of people to come
                  [c] Right before the event was to take place, servants were sent out to herald the event, and remind
                          people that the wedding was about to take place
                  [d] No-one knew exactly when the bride and Groom would arrive, so they had to be prepared to enter at
                          any given time.
 
  [B] Do not sit in the highest room – do not choose the best seats in the house
          [1] As I explained earlier, the higher seats were for the more honored guest.
                  [a] The elders
                  [b] Those with higher rank
                  [c] Those the Family wanted to honor
 
  [C] Jesus said not to take these better seats, lest someone more honored than you come and the governor of the
          feast ask you to step aside and allow the person to have the seat
          [1] Imagine the embarrassment, of having to move to a lower position, everyone at the feast would see you,
                  and realize your shame
          [2] What is Jesus speaking of here?
                  [a] Pride
                  [b] Desiring to make one-self higher than they really are.
                  [c] Feeling better than others
          [3] What makes a person take the better position, instead of one of lower degree?
                  [a] Same as above

Verse 10 - But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may
  say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with
  thee.

  [A] Instead, Jesus said when you are asked to a function choose the lower seats, the ones that are not intended
          for the honored.
          [1] By choosing the least honorable seat, what is that telling others about you?
          [2] Why would one want to choose the lesser seat?

  [B] When the person who asked you to come sees you setting in the lower seat, he will tell you to get up and
          move to a better seat.
          [1] Now, imagine how good this would make you feel
          [2] Imagine the joy in your heart knowing the governor of the feast recognized you as being a person of
                  higher honor.
 
  [C] Those who sat at the table with thee will know that you have honor, when the governor tells you to move up.
          [1] Instead of trying to make people think you are something, take the lower seat and allow the governor of
                  the feast to show others you are something by asking you to move to a higher spot
          [2] Of course, one must be humble in ones heart in order to take the lesser seat in the first place. If one
                  thinks to highly of him or herself, they will believe that they belong in the higher seat and take them
                  first. Only the humble man or woman will choose the lesser seat. If the governor never asks them to
                  move up, they will be as happy in the lesser seat as they would have been in the greater.

Verse 11 -  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

  [A] Whosoever exalteth himself,  
          [1] Exalting yourself is a universal trait among men,
                  [a] Most people like to have the attention drawn to themselves
                  [b] Most like to be placed on a pedestal and have others look at them as being great
                  [c] Most like to exalt themselves – toot their whistle – blow their horn so others will notice them.
                  [d] Some are worse than others,
          [2] God tends to bring down the proud,
                  [a]
Proverbs 16:18
                         18. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
                  [b] One of the unholy virtues is a prideful heart.
                          [1-a] What do I mean by a prideful heart?
                  [c] It is a part of God's regular to bring down the proud, and the lofty, and to raise up the ones who are
                          week and lowly        
          [3] Even man themselves tend to try to bring down those who exalt themselves;
          [4] Questions
                  [a] How does pride hinder one’s love for their neighbor?
                  [b] How does pride hinder one’s love for God?
                  [c] What is wrong with pride?

Verse 12 - Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor
  thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be
  made thee.

  [A] Call not thy friends nor thy brethren
          [1] This is not to be understood that we are not to entertain our relatives and friends; but we need to
                  remember why Jesus was telling this parable in the first place.  
          [2] It was the intention of Jesus, to reprove and rebuke those who sought only the society of the wealthy, and
                  their rich relatives, and those who claimed to be intimate with the great and honorable, and who, to
                  show their intimacy, were in the habit of seeking their society, and making for them expensive
                  entertainments.
          [3] He meant, also, to commend charity shown to the poor. The passage means, therefore, call not only your
                  friends, but call also the poor
  [B] In other words, Jesus is telling us that we are not to do things just to make ourselves look good.
          [1] We are not to entertain, or help others, so they will remember us in their wills
          [2] We are not to be name droppers, dropping names about certain big shot friends to make ourselves look
                  good
          [3] I believe that Jesus is also saying, what’s the use of wasting you money and food on people who don’t
                  need it when the world is full of people who are starving and in need.  
          [4] True blessings come from helping and doing for others who can never repay us, than and only than can
                  god bless us for what we do

Verse 13 - But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
  [A] Call those who are hungry
  [B] Call those who cannot afford to have a feast on their own
  [C] Call those who are crippled
  [D] Call those who will appreciate what you are doing, those who really need a touch from you to show  them love.

Verse 14 - And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the
  resurrection of the just.

  [A] Shalt be blessed.
          [1] Thou shalt be blessed in the act of doing good,
          [2] Doing good furnishes more happiness than riches can give,
          [3] Thou shall also be blessed or rewarded by God in the day of judgment.

  [B] They cannot recompense thee.
          [1] They cannot invite you to their house to repay you,
          [2] By inviting them you show that you have a desire to good.
 
  [C] The resurrection of the just.
          [1] When the just or holy shall be raised from the dead.
          [2] When God rewards those who have done good to the poor and needy because of their love for Jesus
                  Christ

  To borrow the words of my deceased brother-in-law, be humble, don’t grumble and you won‘t stumble.