Luke 14

If you have ears…. Jesus needs people to really listen. We often say “I won’t hear of it” making hearing a metaphorical act, and this is what hearing means here.

A Pharisee, obviously one of those who actually admired Jesus invited him to lunch. Jesus’ stories are all about letting go honour and status. Jesus does staged teaching… He upps the ante. First he discusses the sabbath… Healing is more important this is almost presented as a lawyers exception, though is there an almost sarcastic element to it.. Well duh?. Then seating seating arrangements, which is done as a practical, almost wisdom literature thing… If you sit  at a place lower than your status, you’ll look good when you are moved up.

Then the banquet story is told sort of twice… Once as a divine payment sort of deal.. Be generous to the needy rather than the influential and you will get a heavenly reward. Then a variation of the story which is a real time bomb story, ultimately a devastating attack on allowing “first world problems” fill your time on earth, and not coming to the banquet of the kingdom of God.

Then the scene changes to preaching to a crowd, but the theme continues, as Jesus ratchets it up dramatically saying that you must be prepared to hate wives, parents, children, and your own life to follow him.

You can’t be a half dedicated follower of Jesus, you have to count your cost. If you start the project of being a follower you have to be able to finish it, as when you start a building project, or as a King only goes to war if he knows he’s has a strong enough army to stand a chance of winning.

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