Opening Prayer

Lord God, thank you for your Word. Speak to me through it today and throughout this year to show me yourself, to prove your love for me, and to give me new vision for my walk with you.

Read LUKE 14:1–14

Jesus at a Pharisee’s House

14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.

Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

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  1. Luke 14:5 Some manuscripts donkey

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Think about your recent experiences of giving and receiving hospitality. How have they encouraged you? Perhaps make a point of thanking someone where they’ve encouraged you.

Think Further

Jesus has been both invited and set up: a prominent Pharisee has invited him on a Sabbath and placed in front of him someone with an unmissable physical ailment (v. 2). We’re not told that the man has come asking for healing—and when he has been healed, Jesus sends him away (v. 4), implying that he’s not there as a guest, only as a trap. If Jesus chooses to heal, then it’s unambiguously his choice. Everyone’s watching to see what he will do.

The Pharisees refuse to answer Jesus’ question about whether it’s lawful to heal on the Sabbath. Even though it’s something that only God can make possible, they refuse to engage with the question. Recognizing the trap, Jesus steps boldly into it. After healing the man, Jesus simply asks how they would act in two urgent situations on a Sabbath. If it’s right to act immediately to prevent harm, how can it be wrong to cure harm? Although they have no answer, they are not won over.

With the pre-dinner entertainment over, the guests are called through to dine. Watching the guests jockey for position, Jesus recommends humility: better to sit too far down and be called up than too high and get moved down. Now seated close enough to speak to his host (v. 12), Jesus urges him to see hospitality differently: not as an exercise in politics, status, and reciprocity, but as an opportunity to serve those who can never repay. The greatest reward, he suggests, comes to those who invite the poor and those in need. Serving someone like the man in the ante-room trap attracts the Father’s blessing in a way that playing politics will never do.


Hospitality that reflects God’s kingdom embraces the disadvantaged and the marginalized. In what ways can such hospitality be more fully expressed in your life?

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, I ask for a humble attitude and a kind, servant’s heart. Thank you for your supreme examples of humility and service; help me to follow them.

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by kingstar

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