Monday, March 25, 2013

Luke 14:15-35

v. 15-24  Someone at the table with Jesus said "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."  Jesus replied "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guest.  At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'  But they all alike began to make excuses."  The excuses were: I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it.  I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out.  I just got married, so I can't come.  When the servant told the news from the invited guests the master was angry and sent the servant out to seek those that were poor, crippled, blind and lame.  There was still room so the master told the servant "Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.  I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet."

It was customary in those days to send out two invitations.  The first was to announce the event and the second was to let them know everything was ready.  The guests insulted the host by making excuses for the second invitation.  God first invited the Jewish people through Moses and the prophets.  The people accepted the first invitation that they were to be God's people.  The second was to believe in His son which many had decided to make excuses why they could not accept.  I know that I had accepted the invitation in my teens and the cares of life got in the way so the invitation fell in a deep crevice until one day I found it and opened the long lost envelope and accepted once again.  Many think that they have to clean up their act before God will take them in, that is not the case.  We can never be cleaned up enough without Him in our life.  God takes us just the way we are today.  Then He will start to work with us to make us who He sees us to be.  God's invitation is open to all. 

v. 25-27  Jesus said "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple."  This line is confusing to me so I looked up other translations.  I use, when I looked up this verse with God's Word Translation it said "If people come to me and are not ready to abandon their fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as their own lives, they cannot be my disciples."  This version makes more sense to me.  We have to be open to Jesus no matter what the cost.  "And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."  The Romans had criminals carry their own cross to their execution site and it also showed a sign of submission to Rome.  Jesus' words were a challenge for those that wanted to go deeper and a warning for those that were not ready to following Jesus. 

v. 28-33 "Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king.  Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?"  The decision to follow Jesus is not one to take lightly.  The cost is too great to not think it out. 

v. 34-35 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?   It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear." 

"Salt can lose it's flavor if it gets wet and dries.  We are not to blend into the world, if we lose our saltiness then we become worthless.  We are to preserve the good in the world, keep it from spoiling and bring new flavor to this life.  This requires careful planning, willing sacrifice and unswerving commitment to Christ's kingdom."   NIV notes

Just because we have ears doesn't mean we can truly hear. 

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