Luke 14:12
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
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(12) A dinner or a supper.—The two words were used respectively for the morning and the evening meal—the former, like the Continental déjeûner, being taken commonly a little before noon, the latter, about sunset.

Thy friends, nor thy brethren.—The words were clearly chosen as including the classes of guests who were then present. Our Lord saw in that Sabbath feast nothing but an ostentatious hospitality, calculating on a return in kind. It might not be wrong in itself, but it could take no place, as the Pharisee clearly thought it would do, in the list of good works by which he sought to win God’s favour. The very fact that it met with its reward on earth excluded it, almost ipso facto, from the reward of the resurrection of the just.

Luke 14:12-14. Then said he also to him that bade him — In the time of dinner, Jesus directed his discourse to the person who had invited him, and showed him what sort of people he should bid to his feasts. When thou makest a dinner, &c., call not thy friends — That is, I do not bid thee call thy friends, or thy rich neighbours. Our Lord leaves these offices of courtesy and humanity as they were, and teaches a higher duty. Or, “by no means confine thy hospitality to thy rich relations, acquaintance, and neighbours, lest the whole of thy reward be an invitation from them to a like entertainment.” So Macknight: but surely it is also implied in this precept of our Lord, that we should be sparing in entertaining those that need it not, in order that we may assist those that do need, with what is saved from those needless entertainments. Lest a recompense be made thee — This fear is as much unknown to the world as even the fear of riches. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor — Have tables also for the poor, that they may partake of thy entertainments. Dr. Whitby’s observations on this passage are worthy of attention. 1st, “Christ doth not absolutely forbid us to invite our friends, our brethren, or kinsfolk, to testify our mutual charity and friendship, and how dear our relations are to us; only he would not have us invite them out of a prospect of a compensation from them again, but to prefer the exercising of our charity to them who cannot recompense us. As comparative particles are sometimes in sense negative, so negative particles are often in sense only comparative: as Proverbs 8:10, Receive my instructions, and not (that is, rather than) silver; Joel 2:18, Rend your hearts, and not (that is, rather than) your garments; John 6:27, Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth, &c. So here, Be not so much concerned to call thy friends as to call the poor. 2d, Nor does he lay upon us a necessity, by this precept, to call the lame, the blind, or the maimed to our tables; but either to do this, or what is equivalent to us in respect of charge, and more advantageous to them and their families, namely, to send them meat or money, to refresh them at home.” And thou shalt be blessedΜακαριος, happy. This will afford thee a much nobler satisfaction than banquets can give: for, though they cannot make thee any recompense in the same way, their prayers shall descend in blessings on thy head; and besides all the pleasure thou wilt find in the exercise of such beneficence, thou shalt be abundantly recompensed at the resurrection of the just, if thy bounties proceed from a principle of faith and piety.

14:7-14 Even in the common actions of life, Christ marks what we do, not only in our religious assemblies, but at our tables. We see in many cases, that a man's pride will bring him low, and before honour is humility. Our Saviour here teaches, that works of charity are better than works of show. But our Lord did not mean that a proud and unbelieving liberality should be rewarded, but that his precept of doing good to the poor and afflicted should be observed from love to him.Call not thy friends ... - This is not to be understood as commanding us not to entertain "at all" our relatives and friends; but we are to remember the "design" with which our Lord spoke. He intended, doubtless, to reprove those who sought the society of the wealthy, and particularly rich relatives, and those who claimed to be intimate with the great and honorable, and who, to show their intimacy, were in the habit of "seeking" their society, and making for them expensive entertainments. He meant, also, to commend charity shown to the poor. The passage means, therefore, call "not only" your friends, but call also the poor, etc. Compare Exodus 16:8; 1 Samuel 15:22; Jeremiah 7:22-23; Matthew 9:13.

Thy kinsmen - Thy relations.

A recompense - Lest they feel themselves bound to treat you with the same kindness, and, in so doing, neither you nor they will show any kind spirit, or any disposition to do good beyond what is repaid.

12-14. call not thy friends—Jesus certainly did not mean us to dispense with the duties of ordinary fellowship, but, remitting these to their proper place, inculcates what is better [Bengel].

lest … a recompense be given thee—a fear the world is not afflicted with [Bengel]. The meaning, however, is that no exercise of principle is involved in it, as selfishness itself will suffice to prompt to it (Mt 5:46, 47).

Ver. 12-14. Many things are delivered in Scripture in the form of an absolute and universal prohibition, which must not be so understood, amongst which this is one instance. None must think that our Saviour doth here absolutely or universally forbid our invitations of our brethren, or kinsmen, or rich neighbours, or friends, to dinners or suppers with us; there was nothing more ordinarily practised amongst the Jews; Christ himself was at divers meals: but Christ by this teacheth us,

1. That this is no act of charity; it is indeed a lawful act of humanity and civility, and of a good tendency sometimes to procure amity and friendship amongst neighbours and friends, but no such act of charity as they could expect a heavenly reward for.

2. That such feastings ought not to be upheld in prejudice to our duty in relieving the poor, that is, they ought not to be maintained in such excesses and immoderate degrees, as by them we shall disable ourselves from that relief of the poor, which God requireth of us, as our duty, with respect to the estate with which he hath blessed us.

3. That we may most reasonably expect a recompence from heaven for such good works as we do, for which we are not recompensed on earth.

4. That God’s recompences of us, for doing our duty in obedience to his commands, are often deferred until the resurrection of the just, but then they will not fail obedient souls.

Then said he also to him that bad him,.... As he had given advice and instructions to the guests, so he likewise thought fit to give some to the master of the house, that had given both him and them an invitation to the present meal; observing, very likely, that his guests consisted of such persons as are hereafter described.

When thou makest a dinner, or a supper; any entertainment for other persons, at what time of the day soever, whether sooner or later, at noon, or at night, on sabbath days, or others:

call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours: that is, do not invite thy rich friends, rich brethren, and rich kinsmen, as well as not rich neighbours: not that our Lord's meaning is, that such should not be invited at all; which would be to destroy friendship and sociable conversation among persons in such a relation, and of such rank and fortune: but his sense is, that not these only should be invited, to the neglect of poor friends, poor brethren, poor kinsmen, and poor neighbours; and who, comparatively speaking, should rather be invited than the former, as being what would be more serviceable to them, and of a greater advantage in the issue to the master of the feast himself.

Lest they also bid thee again; and thee only, and not the poor, to as grand an entertainment, which is commonly done:

and a recompense be made thee: one feasting bout for another, so that there will be no obligation on either side; and this will be all the advantage that will be gained; the return is made here, and there will be no reward hereafter.

{3} Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

(3) Against those who spend their goods either for the glory of man or for hope of recompence, whereas Christian charity considers only the glory of God, and the profit of our neighbour.

Luke 14:12-14. Doubtless the collocation of the company at table suggested these words, which likewise are meant not probably as an actual table arrangement, but parabolically, as a foil to the customary teaching, that instead of arranging the manifestations of human friendliness with a view to receiving a return, we should make such manifestations just to those who cannot repay them again; then shall we receive requital in the kingdom of the Messiah. At the root of this lies the idea that the temporal requital striven after excludes the Messianic compensation, the idea of the ἀπέχειν τὸν μισθόν (Matthew 6:2; Matthew 5:16). There is no allusion in this place to the calling of the heathen (Schenkel).

μή] not: non tam or non tantum (Kuinoel, and many others), which here would be even logically wrong on account of μήποτε κ. αὐτοί σε ἀντικ. Jesus gives, indeed, only a figurative discourse.

φώνει] purposely chosen; the manifest, obvious element of the καλεῖν (Luke 14:13) is denoted.

πλουσίους] belongs only to γείτονας (in opposition to Grotius).

μήποτε κ.τ.λ.] “Hic metus mundo ignotus est, ut metus divitiarum,” Bengel.

ἀντικαλέσωσι] Comp. Xen. Symp. i. 15 : οὔτε μὴν ὡς ἀντικληθησόμενος, καλεῖ μέ τις, ἐπεὶ πάντες ἴσασιν, ὅτι ἀρχὴν οὐδὲ νομίζεται εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν οἰκίαν δεῖπνον εἰσφέρεσθαι.

In respect of καὶ αὐτοί the general idea of the invitation has presented itself.

Luke 14:13. ἀναπήρους] maimed; Plat. Crit. p. 53 A: χωλοὶ καὶ τυφλοὶ καὶ ἄλλοι ἀνάπηροι.

Luke 14:14. ἀνταποδοθήσεται] Thucyd. iii. 40; Plat. Phaedr. p. 236 C; Romans 11:35; 1 Thessalonians 3:9; placed first for emphasis.

ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων] This is the ἀνάστασις ζωῆς, see on John 5:28. The Jewish doctrine of a double resurrection is confirmed not only by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:22 f.; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; comp. Acts 24:15), but also in this place by Christ (comp. also Matthew 24:31). Comp. Luke 20:34-36. Otherwise τῶν δικαίων would be a superfluous and unmeaning addition.[175] Moreover, it could not be taken by the pharisaic hearers in any other sense than in the particularistic one, but not in such a manner as that Jesus, because He had the δικαίους directly in view, only mentioned the resurrection of these, without thereby excluding that of the remaining people as contemporary (in opposition to Kaeufer, De ζωῆς αἰων. not. p. 52). The doctrine of the millennial kingdom between the first and second resurrection adopted in the Apocalypse (Bertholdt, Christol. § 38) is not, however, confirmed, nor are the Rabbinical traditions, partly varying very much among themselves on the several stages of the resurrection (Eisenmenger, Entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 901 ff.); further, the assumption is not confirmed, according to which the Israelites in themselves were understood as the δικαίους who should first arise (Bertholdt, § 35; Eisenmenger, II. p. 902), or at least the righteous among the Israelites (Eisenmenger, l.c.). Jesus means the righteous in the moral sense, as the context shows (see Luke 14:13 f., 16 ff.), without limitation of race. The specific definition of the idea of those first to be awakened as οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ (1 Corinthians 15:23; comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:16) lay of necessity in the development of the Christian consciousness of the ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗ only to be attained in Christ.

[175] It would be so also if it did not presuppose any ἀνάστασις τῶν ἀδίκων at all. This is against Georgii in Zeller’s Jahrb. 1845, I. p. 141., who finds in the Synoptic Gospels only a resurrection of the pious.

Luke 14:12-14. A word to the host, also parabolic in character in so far as it gives general counsel under a concrete particular form (Hahn), but not parabolic in the strict sense of teaching spiritual truth by natural examples.

12-14. Whom to invite; a Lesson to the Host.

. call not thy friends, nor thy brethren] In this, as many of our Lord’s utterances, we must take into account (1) the idioms of Oriental speech; (2) the rules of common sense, which teach us to distinguish between the letter and the spirit. It is obvious that our Lord did not mean to forbid the common hospitalities between kinsmen and equals, but only, as the context shews, (1) to discourage a mere interested hospitality intended to secure a return; and (2) to assert that unselfish generosity is superior to the common civilities of friendliness. The “not” therefore means, as often elsewhere in Scripture, “not only, but also,’ or “not so,” as in Proverbs 8:10; John 6:27; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Timothy 2:9, &c. In other words, “not” sometimes denies “not absolutely but conditionally (Galatians 5:21) and comparatively (1 Corinthians 1:17).” See Matthew 9:13; Jeremiah 7:22; Joel 2:13; Hebrews 8:11and a recompence be made thee] In a similar case Martial says, “You are asking for gifts, Sextus, not for friends.” There is a remarkable parallel in Plato’s Phaedrus.

Luke 14:12. [Τῷ κεκληκότι, to him that had bidden Him) This Pharisee was not one of the worst stamp; see Luke 14:14.—V. g.]—ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον, a dinner [rather the morning meal, or breakfast], or a supper [rather a dinner]) More usually there is made the simple mention of supper: therefore the meal at this time may have been the early meal [ἄριστον, prandium, breakfast or luncheon]. See Luke 5:1; Luke 5:25.—μὴ φώνει τοὺς φίλους, do not give an invitation to thy friends) that is to say, I do not tell thee to invite thy friends, etc. Jesus leaves as it were in their own place [as generally recognised] invitations which arise out of a natural or social tie of connection. He Himself enjoins [besides] a better class of invitations. He does not altogether abolish the offices of friendly courtesy.—πλουσίους, [when they happen to be] rich) This epithet is to be joined to τοὺς φίλουςἀδελφοὺςσυγγενεῖςγείτονας, those of thy friends, brethren, relatives, neighbours who may be rich, but who are often neglected when they are poor: But the epithet chiefly belongs to γείτονας, neighbours; to which four classes of those well-off in the world, there are opposed as many classes of those who are not so in Luke 14:13,—μήποτεἀνταπόδομα, lest—a recompense) This kind of fear is unknown to the world, as is also fear of riches [Give me neither poverty nor riches], Proverbs 30:8. This is the foundation of true liberality, and αὐταρκεία, independent contentedness. Who is there that would wish that all his acts in this life should be recompensed according to their desert? [And yet there are not wanting persons, who wish that everything whatever, which they give or lend, should be most quickly, abundantly, and with accumulated interest, repaid to them: nay they even hunt after both peculiar privileges and undeserved opportunities which for crushing many others, with such great eagerness, that one might suppose that there was no resurrection at hand or recompense of men’s deed, nay, indeed, as if nothing is to be taken away (wrested) from those, who practically deny their faith in things future by their unbridled panting after things present. At what a fearful cost do these things present stand to not a few persons, with whom they are turned into a matter of plunder and rapacity! Happy is he, who is not loath to wait (for his good things). Do not be unduly chagrined, if at any time it will happen that in some case you fail (are disappointed) in the world. But beware of judging rather harshly of others, whom, whether you will or not, you cannot but perceive to have precedency given to them above yourself.—V. g.]—καὶ γενήσεται) Concerning this construction, μήποτε καὶ αὐτοί σε ἀντικαλέσωσι [Subj.], καὶ γενήσεταί [Indic.], σοι ἀνταπόδομα, the exact counterpart to which occurs in Luke 14:9 [where see note], a judgment may be formed from the note on Mark 3:27, which see. From not observing this, many have altered γενήσεται to γένηται.[144]

[144] However the oldest authorities support γένηται, not γενἡσεται, ABa Vulg. Iren. (‘fiat’) Cypr. bc alone have ‘erit.’—E. and T.

Verse 12. - Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. This remark of Jesus took place somewhat later in the course of the feast. Those present were evidently mostly, if not all, drawn from the upper ranks of Jewish society, and the banquet was no doubt a luxurious and costly entertainment. Godet's comment is singularly interesting, and well brings out the half-sorrowful, half-playful sarcasm of the Master. He was the rich Pharisee's Guest; he was partaking of his hospitality, although, it is true, no friendly feelings had dictated the invitation to the feast, but still he was partaking of the man's bread and salt; and then, too, the miserable society tradition which then as now dictates such conventional hospitality, all contributed to soften the Master's stern condemnation of the pompous hollow entertainments; so he "addresses to his host a lesson on charity, which he clothes, like 'the preceding, in the graceful form of a recommendation of intelligent self-interest." The μήποτε, lest (ver. 12), carries a tone of liveliness and almost of pleasantry. "Beware of it; it is a misfortune to be avoided. For, once thou shalt have received human requital, it is all over with Divine recompense." Jesus did not mean to forbid our entertaining those whom we love. He means simply, "In view of the life to come, thou canst do better still." Luke 14:12Dinner - supper

See on Matthew 22:4. Supper (δειπνον) is the principal meal at evening, and corresponding to the modern late dinner.

Call not thy friends, etc

A striking parallel occurs in Plato's "Phaedrus," 233. "And, in general, when you make a feast, invite not your friend, but the beggar and the empty soul, for they will love you, and attend you, and come about your doors, and will be the best pleased, and the most grateful, and will invoke blessings on your head."

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