Wesley's Notes on the Bible
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
14:2 There was a certain man before him - It does not appear that he was come thither with any insidious design. Probably he came, hoping for a cure, or perhaps was one of the family.
And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
14:3 And Jesus answering, spake - Answering the thoughts which he saw rising in their hearts.
And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
And they could not answer him again to these things.
And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
14:7 He spake a parable - The ensuing discourse is so termed, because several parts are not to be understood literally. The general scope of it is, Not only at a marriage feast, but on every occasion, he that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.
When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
14:11 Mt 23:12.
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.
14:12 Call not thy friends - That is, I do not bid thee call thy friends or thy neighbours. Our Lord leaves these offices of humanity and courtesy as they were, and teaches a higher duty. But is it not implied herein, that we should be sparing in entertaining those that need it not, in order to assist those that do need, with all that is saved from those needless entertainments? Lest a recompense be made - This fear is as much unknown to the world, as even the fear of riches.
But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
14:14 One of them that sat at table hearing these things - And being touched therewith, said, Happy is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God - Alluding to what had just been spoken. It means, he that shall have a part in the resurrection of the just.
And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
14:16 Then said he - Continuing the allusion. A certain man made a great supper - As if he had said, All men are not sensible of this happiness. Many might have a part in it, and will not.
And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
14:18 They all began to make excuse - One of them pleads only his own will, I go: another, a pretended necessity, I must needs go: the third, impossibility, I cannot come: all of them want the holy hatred mentioned Lu 14:26. All of them perish by things in themselves lawful. I must needs go - The most urgent worldly affairs frequently fall out just at the time when God makes the freest offers of salvation.
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
14:21 The servant came and showed his lord these things - So ministers ought to lay before the Lord in prayer the obedience or disobedience of their hearers.
And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
14:23 Compel them to come in - With all the violence of love, and the force of God's word. Such compulsion, and such only, in matters of religion, was used by Christ and his apostles.
For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
14:24 For refers to Go out, Lu 14:23.
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father - Comparatively to Christ: yea, so as actually to renounce his field, oxen, wife, all things, and act as if he hated them, when they stand in competition with him. Mt 10:37.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
14:28 And which of you intending to build a tower - That is, and whoever of you intends to follow me, let him first seriously weigh these things.
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
14:31 Another king - Does this mean, the prince of this world? Certainly he has greater numbers on his side. How numerous are his children and servants!
Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
14:33 So - Like this man, who, being afraid to face his enemy, sends to make peace with him, every one who forsaketh not all that he hath - By withdrawing his affections from all the creatures; By enjoying them only in and for God, only in such a measure and manner as leads to him; By hating them all, in the sense above mentioned, cannot be my disciple - But will surely desist from building that tower, neither can he persevere in fighting the good fight of faith.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
14:34 Salt - Every Christian, but more eminently every minister. Mt 5:13; Mr 9:50.
It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.