The kingdom of God (Lk 14:15-14:15)

“One of the dinner guests,

On hearing this,

Said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is anyone

Who will eat bread

In the kingdom of God!’”

 

Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this dinner party among the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that one of the dinner guests reclining at table with Jesus heard Jesus talk about the end times (Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα).  He said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that anyone would be blessed, fortunate or happy (Μακάριος) if they could eat bread (ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον) in the kingdom of God (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This Pharisee seemed to appreciate that the end times were coming when they would eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Would you like an earthly reward or a heavenly reward?

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The resurrection of the just (Lk 14:14-14:14)

“You will be blessed!

Because they cannot

Repay you.

You will be repaid

At the resurrection

Of the righteous!”

 

καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι· ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων.

 

Luke uniquely has Jesus explain why inviting the poor, the lame, the crippled, and the blind was a good thing to do.  Jesus said that they would be blessed, happy, and fortunate (καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ).  These unfortunate people would not be able to repay them with another reciprocal dinner party, (ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι).  However, they would be repaid (ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι) at the resurrection of the righteous (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων).  In other words, they would receive a heavenly reward at the end times.  They should not be that concerned about getting an earthly reward of another dinner invitation, when an eternal reward was available.  Will you be blessed now or at the resurrection of the righteous?

Invite the needy (Lk 14:13-14:13)

“But when you give

A banquet,

Invite the poor!

Invite the crippled!

Invite the lame!

Invite the blind!”

 

ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς, κάλει πτωχούς, ἀναπήρους, χωλούς, τυφλούς·

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus had other plans about dinner guests.  When anyone gave a dinner party or feast (ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς), Jesus listed the people who this Pharisee should invite (κάλει), the poor (πτωχούς), the crippled (ἀναπήρους), the lame (χωλούς) and the blind (τυφλούς).  These were not the elite of society who would get the higher places because of their distinguished positions.  Do you know anyone who invites these kinds of people to a dinner party?

Diner invitations (Lk 14:12-14:12)

“Jesus said

To the one

Who had invited him.

‘When you give

A luncheon

Or a dinner,

Do not invite

Your friends!

Do not invite

Your brothers!

Do not invite

Your relatives!

Do not invite

Rich neighbors!

Otherwise,

They may invite you

In return.

You would then

Be repaid.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον, μὴ φώνει τοὺς φίλους σου μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους, μή ποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι.

 

Finally, Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to his Pharisee host.  Jesus spoke to the one who had invited him (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν).  He told him that when he would give a luncheon or dinner (Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον), he should not invite (μὴ φώνει) his friends (τοὺς φίλους σου), his brothers (μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου), his relatives (μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου), nor rich neighbors (μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους).  Otherwise, they might invite him back in return (μή ποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε), in order to repay him (καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι).  In other words, do not invite your friends or relatives because they would probably invite you back again as a repayment.  That actually is the normal course of things.  Dinner parties usually circulate so that there is no undue burden on any one person.  But Jesus, via Luke, did not like that way of doing things.  Who do you invite to your parties?

Humility (Lk 14:11-14:11)

“All who exalt themselves

Will be humbled!

Those who humble themselves

Will be exalted!”

 

ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that all who exalted themselves (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν) would be humbled (ταπεινωθήσεται).  On the other hand, all those who humbled themselves (καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν), would be exalted (ὑψωθήσεται).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:11-12, and chapter 20:26, but within different contexts.  There Jesus said that whoever wanted to be great among them must be their servant or waiter (ἀλλ’ ὃς ἐὰν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν μέγας γενέσθαι, ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος).  Whoever wanted to be first among them (καὶ ὃς ἂν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι πρῶτος) must be their slave (ἔσται ὑμῶν δοῦλος).  Clearly, Jesus wanted his new leaders not to be like the gentile Roman leaders or the Jewish religious leaders.  They were to be true leaders who served their people, as they practiced servant leadership, not dictatorial leadership.  Jesus said that the greatest among them would be their servant (ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος).  Like here, whoever exalted themselves would be humbled (Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται,).  On the other hand, anyone who humbled themselves would be exalted (καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται).  This role reversal was an indication of the end times.  Do you humble yourself?

Honored (Lk 14:10-14:10)

“But when you are invited,

Go!

Sit down

At the lowest place!

Thus,

When your host

Comes,

He may say

To you.

‘Friend!

Move up higher!’

Then you will be honored

In the presence

Of all

Who are sitting

At table

With you.”

 

ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς, πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον, ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε ἐρεῖ σοι Φίλε, προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον· τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα ἐνώπιον πάντων τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι.

 

Next Luke uniquely continued with this Jesus parable.  Jesus said that when you are invited to someplace (ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς), you should go and sit down or recline at the lowest place (πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον).  Then when your host who had invited you comes and sees you (ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε) he might say to you (ἐρεῖ σοι), “Friend (Φίλε)! Move or come up higher (προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον)!”  This προσανάβηθι is another unique word of Luke.  Then you will be honored or glorified (τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα) in the presence of all those (ἐνώπιον πάντων) sitting or reclining at the table with you (τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι).  In other words, take the lower seat so that you would be honored when the host noticed who you were.  That assumes that the host knows who you are, otherwise, why would he have invited you?  Have you ever been invited some place where you hardly knew anyone?

The lowest place (Lk 14:9-14:9)

“The host

Who invited

Both of you

May come

And say to you.

‘Give this person

Your place.’

Then with disgrace,

You would start

To take

The lowest place.”

 

καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας ἐρεῖ σοι Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον, καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ μετὰ αἰσχύνης τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον κατέχειν.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue with this parable.  Jesus said that the host who had invited both of them might come (καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας), and say (ἐρεῖ σοι) that he would have to give this other person your place (Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον).  Then with disgrace or shame (μετὰ αἰσχύνης), you would start or begin (καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ) to take the lowest place (τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον κατέχειν).  In other words, you would be humiliated in front of everybody.  Have you ever been humiliated in front of other people?