Bible Commentary

Luke 14

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Luke 14)

Verse 3

[3] And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

And Jesus answering, spake — Answering the thoughts which he saw rising in their hearts.

Verse 7

[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,

He spake a parable — The ensuing discourse is so termed, because several parts are not to be understood literally. The general scope of it is, Not only at a marriage feast, but on every occasion, he that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.

Verse 11

[11] For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 23:12.

Verse 12

[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.

Call not thy friends — That is, I do not bid thee call thy friends or thy neighbours. Our Lord leaves these offices of humanity and courtesy as they were, and teaches a higher duty. But is it not implied herein, that we should be sparing in entertaining those that need it not, in order to assist those that do need, with all that is saved from those needless entertainments? Lest a recompense be made - This fear is as much unknown to the world, as even the fear of riches.

Verse 14

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

One of them that sat at table hearing these things — And being touched therewith, said, Happy is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God - Alluding to what had just been spoken. It means, he that shall have a part in the resurrection of the just.

Verse 16

[16] Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

Then said he — Continuing the allusion.

A certain man made a great supper — As if he had said, All men are not sensible of this happiness. Many might have a part in it, and will not.

Verse 18

[18] And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

They all began to make excuse — One of them pleads only his own will, I go: another, a pretended necessity, I must needs go: the third, impossibility, I cannot come: all of them want the holy hatred mentioned Luke 14:26. All of them perish by things in themselves lawful.

I must needs go — The most urgent worldly affairs frequently fall out just at the time when God makes the freest offers of salvation.

Verse 21

[21] So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

The servant came and showed his lord these things — So ministers ought to lay before the Lord in prayer the obedience or disobedience of their hearers.

Verse 23

[23] And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Compel them to come in — With all the violence of love, and the force of God's word. Such compulsion, and such only, in matters of religion, was used by Christ and his apostles.

Verse 24

[24] For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

For refers to Go out, Luke 14:23.

Verse 26

[26] If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

If any man come to me, and hate not his father — Comparatively to Christ: yea, so as actually to renounce his field, oxen, wife, all things, and act as if he hated them, when they stand in competition with him. Matthew 10:37.

Verse 28

[28] For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

And which of you intending to build a tower — That is, and whoever of you intends to follow me, let him first seriously weigh these things.

Verse 31

[31] Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

Another king — Does this mean, the prince of this world? Certainly he has greater numbers on his side. How numerous are his children and servants!

Verse 33

[33] So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

So — Like this man, who, being afraid to face his enemy, sends to make peace with him, every one who forsaketh not all that he hath - 1. By withdrawing his affections from all the creatures; 2. By enjoying them only in and for God, only in such a measure and manner as leads to him; 3. By hating them all, in the sense above mentioned, cannot be my disciple - But will surely desist from building that tower, neither can he persevere in fighting the good fight of faith.

Verse 34

[34] Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

Salt — Every Christian, but more eminently every minister. Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50.

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