Jesus Heals a Sick Man
1One Sabbath, Jesus was having dinner in the home of an important Pharisee, and everyone was carefully watching Jesus. 2All of a sudden a man with swollen legs stood up in front of him. 3Jesus turned and asked the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses, “Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?” 4But they did not say a word.
Jesus took hold of the man. Then he healed him and sent him away. 5#Mt 12.11. Afterwards, Jesus asked the people, “If your son or ox falls into a well, wouldn't you pull him out at once, even on the Sabbath?” 6There was nothing they could say.
How To Be a Guest
7Jesus saw how the guests had tried to take the best seats. So he told them:
8 # Pr 25.6,7. When you are invited to a wedding feast, don't sit in the best place. Someone more important may have been invited. 9Then the one who invited you will come and say, “Give your place to this other guest!” You will be embarrassed and will have to sit in the worst place.
10When you are invited to be a guest, go and sit in the worst place. Then the one who invited you may come and say, “My friend, take a better seat!” You will then be honored in front of all the other guests. 11#Mt 23.12; Lk 18.14. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.
12Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him:
When you give a dinner or a banquet, don't invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. 13When you give a feast, invite the poor, the paralyzed, the lame, and the blind. 14They cannot pay you back. But God will bless you and reward you when his people rise from death.
The Great Banquet
15After Jesus had finished speaking, one of the guests said, “The greatest blessing of all is to be at the banquet in God's kingdom!”
16Jesus told him:
A man once gave a great banquet and invited a lot of guests. 17When the banquet was ready, he sent a servant to tell the guests, “Everything is ready! Please come.”
18One guest after another started making excuses. The first one said, “I bought some land, and I've got to look it over. Please excuse me.”
19Another guest said, “I bought five teams of oxen, and I need to try them out. Please excuse me.”
20Still another guest said, “I've just now married, and I can't be there.”
21The servant told his master what happened, and the master became so angry he said, “Go as fast as you can to every street and alley in town! Bring in everyone who is poor or paralyzed or blind or lame.”
22When the servant returned, he said, “Master, I've done what you told me, and there is still plenty of room for more people.”
23His master then told him, “Go out along the back roads and make people come in, so my house will be full. 24Not one of the guests I first invited will get even a bite of my food!”
Being a Disciple
25Large crowds were walking along with Jesus, when he turned and said:
26 # 4 Macc 2.11-13; Mt 10.37. You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot follow me unless you love me more than you love your own life.
27 # Mt 10.38; 16.24; Mk 8.34; Lk 9.23. You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and follow me.
28Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won't you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? 29Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. 30They will say, “You started building, but could not finish the job.”
31What will a king do if he has only 10,000 soldiers to defend himself against a king who is about to attack him with 20,000 soldiers? Before he goes out to battle, won't he first sit down and decide if he can win? 32If he thinks he won't be able to defend himself, he will send messengers and ask for peace while the other king is still a long way off. 33So then, you cannot be my disciple unless you give away everything you own.
Salt and Light
(Matthew 5.13; Mark 9.50)
34Salt is good, but if it no longer tastes like salt, how can it be made to taste salty again? 35It is no longer good for the soil or even for the manure pile. People simply throw it out. If you have ears, pay attention!