Please read Luke 14:25-35, 15 & 16:1-15, 19-31
Now many crowds were going along with Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:25-27 CJB
The word hate in Luke 14:26 deserves a closer look. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the contrast between “love” and “hatred” is sometimes used to communicate preference. For example, in dealing with inheritances in polygamous marriages, the Mosaic Law referred to “two wives, one beloved, and another hated” (Deuteronomy 21:15). Our love for Christ needs to be such that He is preferred above all else, even our own life.
Then Yeshua shared two more parables to illustrate our need to count the cost of following Him:
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Lest, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30 LSB
Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:31-33 LSB
“Therefore, salt is good, but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 14:34-35 LSB
Then three parables to demonstrate God’s eagerness in seeking those who are lost.
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has one hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:1-7 LSB
This parable is also shared in Matthew 18:12-14 – see What Love Looks Like – Renewal Blog.
“Or what woman, if she has ten drachmas and loses one drachma, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost!’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10 LSB
And He said, “A man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate living recklessly. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he was desiring to be fed with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.
But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will rise up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’
So he rose up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet, and bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and let us eat and celebrate, for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.
“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And summoning one of the servants, he began inquiring what these things could be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’
But he became angry and was not wanting to go in, and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and never have I neglected a command of yours. And yet never have you given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
And he said to him, ‘Child, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive, and was lost and has been found.’” Luke 15:11-32 LSB
Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions. And he called for him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
And the steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the stewardship people will take me into their homes.’
And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
And he said, ‘One hundred baths of oil.’
And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’
And he said, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly, for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves from the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will take you into the eternal dwellings.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much, and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? Luke 16:1-12 LSB
Yeshua repeated some of His teaching as He spoke in different regions.
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts, for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. Luke 16:13-15
“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. But a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom, and the rich man also died and was buried.
And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’
But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things. But now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you are not able, and none may cross over from there to us.’
And he said, ‘Then I am asking you, father, that you send him to my father’s house – for I have five brothers – in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31 LSB
Moses and the Prophets wrote of Messiah to come. Here He was but those religious leaders who proclaimed most loudly that they obeyed Moses refused to believe in the One that he spoke of. refusing to believe in Him. Yeshua prophesied their reaction of failing to be persuaded even by His resurrection and diagnosed this as a failure to listen to Moses and the Prophets.
- HELPS Ministries. The Discovery Bible. [Online] https://thediscoverybible.com/.
- Stern, David H. Complete Jewish Bible (CJB). 1998.
- Holy Bible. New International Version. s.l. : Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.
- —. New American Standard Bible. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995, 2020.
- The Lockman Foundation. The Legacy Standard Bible. [Online] https://lsbible.org/.
In the comments section below share your thoughts on what you have read and answer some of the following questions…
* Who is invited to God’s banquet?
* What is God’s response to those who are lost and trapped in sin?
* What are the costs of discipleship in these passages?
* God accepts anyone, no matter how sinful they have been, but what does He demand if we choose to come to him?