March 2019   
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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Aug 28th)

Pastor's Summary of Luke 14:1, 7-14

Luke continues his series of sayings of Jesus about the qualifications for entry into the kingdom of God. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the godly at the end of time, and were keen to be among those chosen as faithful, so they " were watching him closely". As he has done earlier, Jesus heals a person on the sabbath (vv. 2-6), this time one with "dropsy" (edema). The "lawyers and Pharisees" (v. 3), experts on correct observance of the sabbath, are speechless when Jesus challenges them (v. 6): surely acts of compassion can be done on this day. Jesus' host is a prominent Pharisee (v. 1); we recongize that the "parable" (v. 7) is about membership in the Kingdom.  The Greek word rendered as "guests" means apparently chosen or see themselves as chosen. The gathering of God's elect on the end of time was commonly depicted as a "wedding banquet" (v. 8). There the host is God. the punch line (v. 11) is good manners, but Jesus is drawing a conclusion about the kingdom: attendance depends on God's invitation.  God will not be fooled by self-promotion! Jewish and Greco-Roman societies both spurned the "poor" (v. 13) and the disabled. A Qumran document says that these people will be excluded from the banquet, but Jesus says: share with them! (v. 13) Giving to those unable to " repay"(v. 14) will admit one to the kingdom.  For the Pharisee, this is a real surprise.  He should have invited the man with dropsy.