14
Healing Again on the Sabbath
1 Now#tn Grk “Now it happened that one.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. one Sabbath when Jesus went to dine#tn Grk “to eat bread,” an idiom for participating in a meal. at the house of a leader#tn Grk “a ruler of the Pharisees.” He was probably a synagogue official. of the Pharisees,#sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17. they were watching#sn Watching…closely is a graphic term meaning to lurk and watch; see Luke 11:53-54. him closely. 2 There#tn Grk “And there.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. right#tn Grk “behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this statement adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). Here it has been translated as “right” in the phrase “right in front of him,” giving a similar effect of vividness in the translation. in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy.#sn The condition called dropsy involves swollen limbs resulting from the accumulation of fluid in the body’s tissues, especially the legs. 3 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the sequence of events (Jesus’ question was prompted by the man’s appearance). Jesus asked#tn Grk “Jesus, answering, said.” This is redundant in contemporary English. In addition, since the context does not describe a previous question to Jesus (although one may well be implied), the phrase has been translated here as “Jesus asked.” the experts in religious law#tn That is, experts in the interpretation of the Mosaic law (traditionally, “lawyers”). and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath#sn “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” Will the Pharisees and experts in religious law defend tradition and speak out against doing good on the Sabbath? Has anything at all been learned since Luke 13:10-17? Has repentance come (13:6-9)? or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the sequence of events (Jesus’ healing the man was in response to their refusal to answer). Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. took hold of the man,#tn Grk “taking hold [of the man].” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενος (epilabomeno") has been taken as indicating attendant circumstance. healed him, and sent him away.#tn Or “and let him go.” 5 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. he said to them, “Which of you, if you have a son#tc Here “son,” found in Ì45,75 (A) B W Ï, is the preferred reading. The other reading, “donkey” (found in א K L Ψ Ë1,13 33 579 892 1241 2542 al lat bo), looks like an assimilation to Luke 13:15 and Deut 22:4; Isa 32:20, and was perhaps motivated by an attempt to soften the unusual collocation of “son” and “ox.” The Western ms D differs from all others and reads “sheep.” or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6 But#tn καί (kai) has been translated here as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context. The experts, who should be expected to know the law, are unable to respond to Jesus’ question. they could not reply#sn They could not reply. Twice in the scene, the experts remain silent (see v. 4). That, along with the presence of power working through Jesus, serves to indicate endorsement of his work and message. to this.
On Seeking Seats of Honor
7 Then#tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. when Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. noticed how the guests#tn Grk “those who were invited.” chose the places of honor,#tn Or “the best places.” The “places of honor” at the meal would be those closest to the host. he told them a parable. He said to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast,#tn Or “banquet.” This may not refer only to a wedding feast, because this term can have broader sense (note the usage in Esth 2:18; 9:22 LXX). However, this difference does not affect the point of the parable. do not take#tn Grk “do not recline in the place of honor.” 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away. the place of honor, because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host.#tn Grk “by him”; the referent (the host) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 9 So#tn Grk “host, and.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate this action is a result of the situation described in the previous verse. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then, ashamed,#tn Or “then in disgrace”; Grk “with shame.” In this culture avoiding shame was important. you will begin to move to the least important#tn Grk “lowest place” (also in the repetition of the phrase in the next verse). place. 10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host#tn Grk “the one who invited you.” approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’#tn Grk “Go up higher.” This means to move to a more important place. Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context, which involves the reversal of expected roles. the one who humbles#sn The point of the statement the one who humbles himself will be exalted is humility and the reversal imagery used to underline it is common: Luke 1:52-53; 6:21; 10:15; 18:14. himself will be exalted.”
12 He#tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. said also to the man#sn That is, the leader of the Pharisees (v. 1). who had invited him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet,#tn The meaning of the two terms for meals here, ἄριστον (ariston) and δεῖπνον (deipnon), essentially overlap (L&N 23.22). Translators usually try to find two terms for a meal to use as equivalents (e.g., lunch and dinner, dinner and supper, etc.). In this translation “dinner” and “banquet” have been used, since the expected presence of rich neighbors later in the verse suggests a rather more elaborate occasion than an ordinary meal. don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors so you can be invited by them in return and get repaid. 13 But when you host an elaborate meal,#tn This term, δοχή (doch), is a third term for a meal (see v. 12) that could also be translated “banquet, feast.” invite the poor, the crippled,#sn Normally the term means crippled as a result of being maimed or mutilated (L&N 23.177). the lame, and#tn Here “and” has been supplied between the last two elements in the series in keeping with English style. the blind.#sn This list of needy is like Luke 7:22. See Deut 14:28-29; 16:11-14; 26:11-13. 14 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate that this follows from the preceding action. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. you will be blessed,#sn You will be blessed. God notes and approves of such generosity. because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid#sn The passive verb will be repaid looks at God’s commendation. at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The Parable of the Great Banquet
15 When#tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. one of those at the meal with Jesus#tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone#tn Grk “whoever” (the indefinite relative pronoun). This has been translated as “everyone who” to conform to contemporary English style. who will feast#tn Or “will dine”; Grk “eat bread.” This refers to those who enjoy the endless fellowship of God’s coming rule. in the kingdom of God!”#sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21. 16 But Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet#tn Or “dinner.” and invited#sn Presumably those invited would have sent a reply with the invitation stating their desire to attend, much like a modern R.S.V.P. Then they waited for the servant to announce the beginning of the celebration (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1272). many guests.#tn The word “guests” is not in the Greek text but is implied. 17 At#tn Grk “And at.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. the time for the banquet#tn Or “dinner.” he sent his slave#tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2. to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ 18 But one after another they all#tn Or “all unanimously” (BDAG 107 s.v. ἀπό 6). "One after another" is suggested by L&N 61.2. began to make excuses.#sn To make excuses and cancel at this point was an insult in the culture of the time. Regardless of customs concerning responses to invitations, refusal at this point was rude. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field,#sn I have bought a field. An examination of newly bought land was a common practice. It was this person’s priority. and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’#sn The expression Please excuse me is probably a polite way of refusing, given the dynamics of the situation, although it is important to note that an initial acceptance had probably been indicated and it was now a bit late for a refusal. The semantic equivalent of the phrase may well be “please accept my apologies.” 19 Another#tn Grk “And another.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen,#sn Five yoke of oxen. This was a wealthy man, because the normal farmer had one or two yoke of oxen. and I am going out#tn The translation “going out” for πορεύομαι (poreuomai) is used because “going” in this context could be understood to mean “I am about to” rather than the correct nuance, “I am on my way to.” to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another#tn Grk “And another.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’#sn I just got married, and I cannot come. There is no request to be excused here; just a refusal. Why this disqualifies attendance is not clear. The OT freed a newly married man from certain responsibilities such as serving in the army (Deut 20:7; 24:5), but that would hardly apply to a banquet. The invitation is not respected in any of the three cases. 21 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the preceding responses. the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious#tn Grk “being furious, said.” The participle ὀργισθείς (orgisqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly#sn It was necessary to go out quickly because the banquet was already prepared. All the food would spoil if not eaten immediately. to the streets and alleys of the city,#tn Or “town.” and bring in the poor,#sn The poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Note how the list matches v. 13, illustrating that point. Note also how the party goes on; it is not postponed until a later date. Instead new guests are invited. the crippled,#tn Grk “and the crippled.” Normally crippled as a result of being maimed or mutilated (L&N 23.177). Καί (kai) has not been translated here and before the following category (Grk “and the blind and the lame”) since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more. the blind, and the lame.’ 22 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the order of events within the parable. the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’#sn And still there is room. This comment suggests the celebration was quite a big one, picturing the openness of God’s grace. 23 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the master’s response to the slave’s report. the master said to his#tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215). slave, ‘Go out to the highways#sn Go out to the highways and country roads. This suggests the inclusion of people outside the town, even beyond the needy (poor, crippled, blind, and lame) in the town, and so is an allusion to the inclusion of the Gentiles. and country roads#tn The Greek word φραγμός (fragmo") refers to a fence, wall, or hedge surrounding a vineyard (BDAG 1064 s.v. 1). “Highways” and “country roads” probably refer not to separate places, but to the situation outside the town where the rural roads run right alongside the hedges or fences surrounding the fields (cf. J. A. Fitzmyer, Luke [AB], 1057). and urge#tn Traditionally “force” or “compel,” but according to BDAG 60 s.v. ἀναγκάζω 2 this is a weakened nuance: “strongly urge/invite.” The meaning in this context is more like “persuade.” people#tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. to come in, so that my house will be filled.#sn So that my house will be filled. God will bless many people. 24 For I tell you, not one of those individuals#tn The Greek word here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which frequently stresses males or husbands (in contrast to women or wives). However, the emphasis in the present context is on identifying these individuals as the ones previously invited, examples of which were given in vv. 18-20. Cf. also BDAG 79 s.v. ἀνήρ 2. who were invited#sn None of those individuals who were invited. This is both the point and the warning. To be a part of the original invitation does not mean one automatically has access to blessing. One must respond when the summons comes in order to participate. The summons came in the person of Jesus and his proclamation of the kingdom. The statement here refers to the fact that many in Israel will not be blessed with participation, for they have ignored the summons when it came. will taste my banquet!’”#tn Or “dinner.”
Counting the Cost
25 Now large crowds#sn It is important to note that the following remarks are not just to disciples, but to the large crowds who were following Jesus. were accompanying Jesus,#tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. and turning to them he said, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate#tn This figurative use operates on a relative scale. God is to be loved more than family or self. his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life,#tn Grk “his own soul,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context. he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross#sn It was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion for the prisoner to be made to carry his own cross. Jesus is speaking figuratively here in the context of rejection. If the priority is not one’s allegiance to Jesus, then one will not follow him in the face of possible rejection; see Luke 9:23. and follow#tn Grk “and come after.” In combination with the verb ἔρχομαι (ercomai) the improper preposition ὀπίσω (opisw) means “follow.” me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down#tn The participle καθίσας (kaqisas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. first and compute the cost#tn The first illustration involves checking to see if enough funds exist to build a watchtower. Both ψηφίζω (yhfizw, “compute”) and δαπάνη (dapanh, “cost”) are economic terms. to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 Otherwise,#tn Grk “to complete it, lest.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation and ἵνα μήποτε ({ina mhpote, “lest”) has been translated as “Otherwise.” when he has laid#tn The participle θέντος (qentos) has been taken temporally. a foundation and is not able to finish the tower,#tn The words “the tower” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. all who see it#tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. will begin to make fun of#tn Or “mock,” “ridicule.” The person who did not plan ahead becomes an object of joking and ridicule. him. 30 They will say,#tn Grk “make fun of him, saying.” ‘This man#sn The phrase this man is often used in Luke in a derogatory sense; see “this one” and expressions like it in Luke 5:21; 7:39; 13:32; 23:4, 14, 22, 35. began to build and was not able to finish!’#sn The failure to finish the building project leads to embarrassment (in a culture where avoiding public shame was extremely important). The half completed tower testified to poor preparation and planning. 31 Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down#tn The participle καθίσας (kaqisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. first and determine whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose#tn On the meaning of this verb see also L&N 55.3, “to meet in battle, to face in battle.” the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot succeed,#tn Grk “And if not.” Here δέ (de) has not been translated; “succeed” is implied and has been supplied in the translation for clarity. he will send a representative#tn Grk “a messenger.” while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace.#sn This image is slightly different from the former one about the tower (vv. 28-30). The first part of the illustration (sit down first and determine) deals with preparation. The second part of the illustration (ask for terms of peace) has to do with recognizing who is stronger. This could well suggest thinking about what refusing the “stronger one” (God) might mean, and thus constitutes a warning. Achieving peace with God, the more powerful king, is the point of the illustration. 33 In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.#tn Grk “Likewise therefore every one of you who does not renounce all his own possessions cannot be my disciple.” The complex double negation is potentially confusing to the modern reader and has been simplified in the translation. See L&N 57.70.sn The application of the saying is this: Discipleship requires that God be in first place. The reference to renunciation of all his own possessions refers to all earthly attachments that have first place.
34 “Salt#tn Grk “Now salt…”; here οὖν has not been translated.sn Salt was used as seasoning or fertilizer (BDAG 41 s.v. ἅλας a), or as a preservative. If salt ceased to be useful, it was thrown away. With this illustration Jesus warned about a disciple who ceased to follow him. is good, but if salt loses its flavor,#sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens: Under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), when asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be, both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle. how can its flavor be restored? 35 It is of no value#tn Or “It is not useful” (L&N 65.32). for the soil or for the manure pile; it is to be thrown out.#tn Grk “they throw it out.” The third person plural with unspecified subject is a circumlocution for the passive here. The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”#tn The translation “had better listen!” captures the force of the third person imperative more effectively than the traditional “let him hear,” which sounds more like a permissive than an imperative to the modern English reader. This was Jesus’ common expression to listen and heed carefully (cf. Matt 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8).
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