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Friday, June 08, 2007

The Great Supper

The Great Supper

(Lk 14:15-24)



1. Jesus is at the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees...

a. He had gone there to eat bread on the Sabbath Lk14:1

b. He is watched closely by the lawyers and Pharisees who were present.

Jesus healed a man with dropsy, and silenced their objections to Him healing on the Sabbath - Lk 14:2-6

Dropsy {Definition} Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease

c. Noticing how they were choosing the best places to sit, Jesus taught the parable of "Taking The Lowest Place" to teach the importance of humility - Lk 14:7-11

2. It was on this same occasion that Jesus taught another parable...

a. Known as the parable of "The Great Supper", it is recorded in Lk 14:15-24

b. One immediately notices similarities between this parable and the parable of "The Wedding Feast", found in Mt 22:1-14

3. But these parables are not one and the same...

The occasion is different

1) The parable of "The Wedding Feast" was actually told later in Jesus' ministry, during His final week, and in the Temple

2) The parable of "The Great Supper" was told much earlier, and at the house of the Pharisee

The application is different

1) The parable of "The Wedding Feast" appears directed more to the nation of Israel as a whole, in rejecting the Son of the King - cf. Mt 22:1-3

2) The parable of "The Great Supper" does not appear to have such a limited focus.



1. Jesus is eating at the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees, along with a number of lawyers and Pharisees - Lk 14:1-6

a. He had just told the parable of "Taking The Lowest Place" - Lk 14:7-11

b. He then tells His host that when he has a dinner or a
supper, that he ought to invite those who cannot repay him - Lk 14:12-14

He is stressing hospitality towards those who cannot repay us in this life.

2. Jesus' words prompt a response from one who heard Him – Lk 14:15
"Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"

This saying was likely precipitated by Jesus' reference to being repaid at the resurrection of the just - cf. Lk 14:14

"The language of Christ implied that God himself would feast those who feasted the poor, and this implication accorded with the Jewish notion that the kingdom of God would be ushered in with a great festival. Inspired by this thought, and feeling confident that he should have been part of the festivities, this guest exclaimed upon the anticipated blessedness." (MCGARVEY)

That the speaker would refer to eschatological blessings in the symbolism of a heavenly banquet was not out of place - cf. Mt 8:11; Re 19:7-9

Mat 8:11 “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”

Rev 19:7-9 “ Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

-- It is this comment by the other guest that prompts Jesus to tell another parable...

1. A certain man gives a great supper and extends his invitation - Lk 14:16-17

Luk 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
Luk 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

Note 1,

Who the man is,

God himself.

Note 2,

The quality of the event,

“A great supper”

Note 3,

The purpose of the Supper,

That many would benefit.

Note 4,

The invitation sent,
“Come; for all things are now ready.”


All things are now ready!!!

Q. Are we ready to answer the call of God?

Now is the day of Service as well as Salvation!


2. However, those invited began to make excuses...

Luk 14:18 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.

Note 1,

“They all with one consent”

Disobedience to God is a general condition inherent in Mankind!
Read psalm 83: 1-5

Psa 83:5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:

Albert Barnes on Psa 83:5
For they have consulted together with one consent - Margin, as in Hebrew, heart. There is no division in their counsels on this subject. They have one desire - one purpose - in regard to the matter. Pilate and Herod were made friends together against Christ Luk_23:12; and the world, divided and hostile on other matters, has been habitually united in its opposition to Christ and to a pure and spiritual religion.

a. One had bought a piece of ground, and said he must go see it - Lk 14:18


It might seem at first to be a reasonable excuse. But would you buy a piece of land without first seeing it?

Albert Barnes

However, we may learn from this that sinners sometimes plead that they are under a “necessity” to neglect the affairs of religion. The affairs of the world, they pretend, are so pressing that they cannot find time to attend to their souls. They have no time to pray, or read the Scriptures, or keep up the worship of God. In this way many lose their souls.

b. Another had bought five yoke of oxen, and wanted to test them - Lk 14:19

Albert Barnes

It is worthy of remark that this excuse was very trifling. He could as easily have tried them at any other time as then, and his whole conduct shows that he was more disposed to gratify “himself” than to accept the invitation of his friend. He was selfish; just as all sinners are, who, to gratify their own worldliness and sins, refuse to accept the offers of the gospel.

c. A third said he had married, and could not come - Lk 14:20

Albert Barnes

Our Saviour here doubtless intends to teach us that the love of earthly relatives and friends often takes off the affections from God, and prevents our accepting the blessings which he would bestow on us. This was the most trifling excuse of all; and we cannot but be amazed that “such” excuses are suffered to interfere with our salvation, and that people can be satisfied for “such” reasons to exclude themselves from the kingdom of God.

3. The master, being angry, sends his servant to go out and invite others...

Psa 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Angry = Heb

A primitive root; properly to foam at the mouth, that is, to be enraged: - abhor, abominable, (be) angry, defy, (have) indignation.

a. At first, the poor, maimed, lame and blind (i.e., social
outcasts) - Lk 14:21

John Gill

and bring in hither the poor; not in a literal, but in a mystical and spiritual sense; such as have no spiritual food to eat, but ashes, gravel, wind, and husks of carnal lusts and sins; nor any spiritual clothing, no righteousness, but what may be justly called filthy rags; nor money to buy either, but are in debt, owe ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay; of which spiritual poverty some are sensible, and others are not.

And the maimed; who are debilitated and enfeebled by sin; and so weak and strengthless, that they are not able to keep the law of God; to atone for sin; to redeem themselves, or others, from the bondage of sin, Satan, and the law; to begin and carry on a work of grace and holiness in them; or to do any thing that is spiritually good:

and the halt; which is sometimes a character of persons that are in suspense about matters in religion, and know not which side to take; or who halt in religion, and falter and fail in the exercise of it: but here, of such who are in an incapacity of going or walking in a spiritual sense; as unto Christ, for life and salvation, without the drawings and influences of the Father's grace:

the blind: who are so, as to any saving knowledge of God in Christ; of Christ, and the way of righteousness, life, and salvation by him; of the plague of their own hearts, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the need of a Saviour; of the work of the Spirit of God upon their souls, and the necessity of it; and of the truths of the Gospel, in a spiritual and experimental way. In short, under these characters are represented natural and unconverted men, and the most vile, profligate, and abandoned of them; which are sometimes under the power of divine grace accompanying the ministration of the Gospel brought to Christ, and into his church.

Read 2 Samuel 5:6-9

So the "blind and the lame", in 2Sa_5:6 are by the Targum on the place, explained of, חטאייא וחיבייא, "sinners and wicked persons".

b. But there is still room, so the servant is sent out again, to compel those among the highways and hedges to come – Lk 14:22-23

Compel = GK
G315 ἀναγκάζω anagkazō
From G318; to necessitate: - compel, constrain.

This word ANANGKADZO is only used 9 times in the New Test.

Act 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

Compel {definition}

“to have a powerful and irresistible effect, influence, etc.”


Read Genesis 19:14-16

4. Those who were invited who made excuses would not taste of his supper - Lk 14:24



1. The great supper likely symbolizes the time after the
resurrection - cf. Lk 14:14-15

2. As indicated above, the blessings of the kingdom of heaven in its eternal state are often depicted in the figure of great feast - cf. Mt 8:11-12; Re 19:9

3. Paul writes of the wonderful blessings yet to come - cf. Ep 2:7

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

4. John writes of the vision he saw relating to these blessings - Re 21:1-7, 9-12; 22:1-5


1. The Lord has certainly prepared a wonderful "supper", and has extended the invitation to all:

"Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb." (Re 19:9)

"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirst come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." (Re 22:17)

2. The danger is allowing the affairs of life to keep us from accepting this gracious invitation:

"But they all with one accord began to make excuses..." (Lk 14:18a)

Are you prone to make excuses in responding to the call of the Lord?

May the parable of "The Great Supper" serve as a warning to us all!


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