New International Reader's Version

Luke 14

Jesus Eats at a Pharisee’s House

1One Sabbath day, Jesus went to eat in the house of a well-known Pharisee. While he was there, he was being carefully watched. In front of him was a man whose body was badly swollen. Jesus turned to the Pharisees and the authorities on the law. He asked them, “Is it breaking the Law to heal on the Sabbath day?” But they remained silent. So Jesus took hold of the man and healed him. Then he sent him away.

He asked them another question. He said, “Suppose one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day. Wouldn’t you pull it out right away?” And they had nothing to say.

Jesus noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table. So he told them a story. He said, “Suppose someone invites you to a wedding feast. Do not take the place of honor. A person more important than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come to you. He will say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be filled with shame. You will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place. Then your host will come over to you. He will say, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 All those who lift themselves up will be made humble. And those who make themselves humble will be lifted up.”

12 Then Jesus spoke to his host. “Suppose you give a lunch or a dinner,” he said. “Do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, or your relatives, or your rich neighbors. If you do, they may invite you to eat with them. So you will be paid back. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite those who are poor. Also invite those who can’t see or walk. 14 Then you will be blessed. Your guests can’t pay you back. But you will be paid back when those who are right with God rise from the dead.”

The Story of the Great Banquet

15 One of the people at the table with Jesus heard him say those things. So he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in God’s kingdom.”

16 Jesus replied, “A certain man was preparing a great banquet. He invited many guests. 17 Then the day of the banquet arrived. He sent his servant to those who had been invited. The servant told them, ‘Come. Everything is ready now.’

18 “But they all had the same idea. They began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have just bought a field. I have to go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen. I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry. He ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the town. Bring in those who are poor. Also bring those who can’t see or walk.’

22 “ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done. But there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads. Go out to the country lanes. Make the people come in. I want my house to be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those people who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. He turned and spoke to them. He said, 26 “Anyone who comes to me must hate their father and mother. They must hate their wife and children. They must hate their brothers and sisters. And they must hate even their own life. Unless they do this, they can’t be my disciple. 27 Whoever doesn’t carry their cross and follow me can’t be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you sit down first and figure out how much it will cost? Then you will see whether you have enough money to finish it. 29 Suppose you start building and are not able to finish. Then everyone who sees what you have done will laugh at you. 30 They will say, ‘This person started to build but wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. And suppose he has 10,000 men, while the other has 20,000 coming against him. Won’t he first sit down and think about whether he can win? 32 And suppose he decides he can’t win. Then he will send some men to ask how peace can be made. He will do this while the other king is still far away. 33 In the same way, you must give up everything you have. Those of you who don’t cannot be my disciple.

34 “Salt is good. But suppose it loses its saltiness. How can it be made salty again? 35 It is not good for the soil. And it is not good for the trash pile. It will be thrown out.

“Whoever has ears should listen.”