Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1It happened one Sabbath, when He went for a meal at the house of one of the ruling Pharisees, that they were watching Him closely and carefully [hoping to entrap Him]. 2And there in front of Him was a man who had dropsy (extreme swelling). 3And Jesus asked the lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4But they kept silent. Then He took hold of the man and healed him, and sent him on his way. 5Then He said to them, “Which one of you, having a son or an ox that falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6And they were unable to reply to this.
Parable of the Guests
7Now Jesus began telling a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been selecting the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down [to eat] at the place of honor, since a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by the host, 9and he who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place,’ and then, in disgrace you proceed to take the last place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down [to eat] at the last place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; and then you will be honored in the presence of all who are at the table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled [before others], and he who habitually humbles himself (keeps a realistic self-view) will be exalted.”
12Jesus also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 13But when you give a banquet or a reception, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind, 14and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (the just, the upright).”
15When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
Parable of the Dinner
16But Jesus said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many guests; 17and at the dinner hour he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have purchased a piece of land and I have to go out and see it; please consider me excused.’ 19Another one said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ 20And another said, ‘I have [recently] married a wife, and for that reason I am unable to come.’ 21So the servant came back and reported this to his master. Then [his master,] the head of the household, became angry [at the rejections of his invitation] and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and the lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and the disabled and the blind and the lame.’ 22And the servant [after returning] said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23Then the master told the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled [with guests]. 24For I tell you, not one of those who were invited [and declined] will taste my dinner.’ ”
25Now large crowds were going along with Jesus; and He turned and said to them, 26“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 [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]—he cannot be My disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple. 28For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is unable to finish [the building], all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ 31Or 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 who is coming against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else [if he feels he is not powerful enough], while the other [king] is still a far distance away, he sends an envoy and asks for terms of peace. 33So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not [carefully consider the cost and then for My sake] give up all his own possessions.
34“Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”