The Life and Commitment of a Disciple

Gospel of Luke 14:1-35

Paul J. Bucknell

Gospel of Luke

The Life of the Disciple (Luke 14:1-15) | The Commitment of the Disciple (Luke 14:16-35)

What kind of behavior does the Lord expect from His disciples?

What kind of commitment does Christ expect of us?

The Life of the Disciple

Luke 14:1-14

Jesus provides two insights into the challenges facing those that need to make a deeper commitment to live for Him.

Maturity is gained as we gain perspective on life. As we grow up, we meet people who speak different languages, have a different set of morals, and learn how to establish and maintain good relationships with others.

Maturity is the ability to use one's facilities to rightly live in any situation. Unfortunately, many don't even reach this point of maturity. Or if they do, they stop short in their understanding. Jesus knows that we also need to spiritually mature. This takes us beyond simple social experiences and enables us to live as God wants.

Jesus prods His listeners into maturity as they are exposed to three 'ethics' of God’s kingdom (Luke 14:1-14) and are challenged to deepen their commitment to Jesus Christ in two ways (Luke 14:15-35). Luke 14 records teaching that enables each of us to take the steps of discipleship and follow Jesus no matter where our starting point is.

Jesus teaches three key aspects on being a disciple.

1) The Law of Mercy (Luke 14:1-6)

2) The Principle of Humbling Oneself (Luke 14:7-11)

3) The Heart of Being Gracious (Luke 14:12-14)

1) The Law of Mercy (Luke 14:1-6)

The Bible Text (Luke 14:1-6)

"1 And it came about when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching Him closely. 2 And there, in front of Him was a certain man suffering from dropsy. 3 And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4 But they kept silent. And He took hold of him, and healed him, and sent him away. 5 And He said to them, “Which one of you shall have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” 6 And they could make no reply to this." (Luke 14:1-6)

The Law of Mercy: An introduction (Luke 14:1-6)

Jesus is not really focusing here on healing or the sabbath. He does incidently teach about these things. His message, however, goes deeper. Let’s see what this first principle is that Jesus highlights here.

The Bible Study Questions (Luke 14:1-6)

• What was Jesus' circumstances like in Luke 14:1?

• Do you think He liked being there? Why or why not?

• Who did Jesus discover there (Luke 14:2)?

• What is dropsy (edema)? Look it up if needed.

• Do you think this man was one of the leaders or not? Why so?

• What did Jesus do about this awkward situation (Luke 14:3-4)?

• What was the illustration and principle Jesus referred to in Luke 14:5?

• Two times the leaders of the Pharisees are said to be silent (14:4, 6). Is this typical or unusual? Why were they quiet these times? Was it for the same or different reasons?

"Which one of you ... will not immediately pull him out ..." (Luke 14:5).

The Application Questions (Luke 14:1-6)

Summarize this principle of God’s kingdom found here in your own words.

How well do you live this principle out?

=> Further Reflection

Jesus used the picture of one of their ox or child falling into the well because Jesus knew full well that each of them would try to save and help theim even on the sabbath. Big issues were at stake whether it be a child or ox. Jesus was highlighting their willingness to ‘break the sabbath’ for their own profit but unwilling to think twice about the sabbath when it came down to caring for the needs of a fellow man. Jesus' main teaching is to show them the grand law of mercy and reveal their lack of living it out.

From Luke 14:1, it seems apparent that this was a set up. This was not any simple honest gathering of the Pharisees. The leaders had invited Jesus there and placed this desperate man in front of them. They, like a fisherman, watched their line very closely. They "were watching Him closely."

2) The Principle of Humbling Oneself (Luke 14:7-11)

The Bible Text (Luke 14:7-11)

"7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table; saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both shall come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11 “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted." (Luke 14:7-11)

The Principle of Humbling Oneself: An introduction (Luke 14:7-11)

Jesus exposed our secret (or not so secret) desire to be admired. Acceptance by others is important to us all. However, making oneself look important in order to be accepted is not proper. When one focuses on oneself, he cannot focus on the needs of others. His preoccupation of gaining acceptance interferes with his ability to love and care for others. Jesus clearly identifies two principles which should shape our lives.

The Bible Study Questions (Luke 14:7-11)

• What did Jesus notice in Luke 14:7?

• How did Jesus respond to that situation (Luke 14:8-10)?

• Have you every seen this kind of thing happen? If so, share.

• Jesus identifies two important principles in Luke 14:11. Name them.

• What does it mean to ‘exalt oneself?’ Give an example.

• What does it mean to ‘humbles himself?’ Give an example.

"Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and
he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).

The Application Questions (Luke 14:7-11)

The hardest time to activate these principles in real life is when everyone else around you does not observe them. It is at this point that one can feel ‘left out’ or forgotten by God. How does this verse build up our faith so that we can rightly live out our lives by humbling ourselves?

Why is this verse so important to those in God’s kingdom?

Acknowledge your desire to be liked, accepted and even admired. Confess where you have allowed these desires to blind you to meeting the needs of others. Commit yourself to serving even if others don’t notice you.


3) The Heart of Being Gracious (Luke 14:12-14)

The Bible Text (Luke 14:12-15)

"12 And He 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 rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. 13 “But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:12-14)

The Heart of Being Gracious: An introduction (Luke 14:12-14)

Try it; you will like it!Jesus again exposed how the spirit of the world strongly influenced these religious leaders. They must have not had a very pleasant party! Jesus real purpose was to enable people to live to be a blessing. In order to do this, one has to trust God to care for and reward oneself so that one is no longer preoccupied with oneself but the serving others.

The Bible Study Questions (Luke 14:12-14)

• Where was Jesus when all this happened (Luke 14:12)?

• What did Jesus actually instruct others (Luke 14:12-14)?

• Why might He have said such things?

• Do you think He might have offended someone? Wasn’t He concerned about this?

• What is the purpose behind Jesus’ teaching?

• What does being ‘repaid at the resurrection’ mean?

• Why is this hope so crucial to right living?

"But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed" (Luke 12:13-14).

The Application Questions (Luke 14:12-14)

Do you give to be rewarded by others or by God in the future? Give evidence for your answer.

Biblical Foundations for Freedom - Resources on the Gospel of Luke

(Luke 1-3)

Luke Introduction pdf
Luke Teaching Outline pdf
Luke 1:26-38 Christmas Lights pdf
Luke 1:45-55 Christmas Prayer pdf
Luke 1:56-75 Notes pdf
Luke 1:57-80 John's Birth pdf
Luke 2:1-20 Jesus' Birth pdf
Luke 2:8-20 Good News pdf
Luke 3:1-38 Jesus & John pdf
Luke 3:21-38 Genealogy pdf

(Luke 4-9:36)

Luke 5:27-32 Needy pdf
Luke 5:33-35 Fasting Discipline pdf
Luke 5:36-39 New-Wineskins pdf
Luke 6:1-11 Sabbath pdf
Luke 6:11-19 Character & Calling pdf
Luke 7:1-10 Faith html
Luke 7:11-17 Widow & Son html
Luke 7:18-35 John the Baptist html
Luke 7:36-50 Two-debtors html
Luke 7:1-50 Faith pdf
Luke 8:22-25 Storm-Stilled pdf
Luke 8:26-39 Demoniac pdf
Luke 8:40-56 Power-Death pdf

Luke 9:1-36 Handout Questions pdf
Luke 9:1-10 Sending out Twelve html
Luke 9:11-17 Feeding of 5000 html
Luke 9:18-26 Life of Denial - Questions html
Luke 9:27-36 Glory of Christ html
Luke 9:37-48 Greatness pdf
Luke 9:45-55 Pride & Leadership pdf
Luke 9:57-62 Discipleship html | pdf | Questions html | pdf
Luke 9:57-10:2 Mission Ready html | pdf {See NT Library for more}
Luke 10:1 Mission Involvement html
Luke 10:2a Mission Worldview html
Luke 10:2b Prayer & missions html
Luke 11:1-5 Content of Prayer pdf
Luke 11:14-26 Participating in Prayer pdf
Luke 11:14-28 Prayer Strategy pdf
Luke 11:5-13 Persistent in Prayer pdf

(Luke 12-19:27)

Luke 12:25-26 A Perspective on Worry html
Luke 13:1-5 Understanding Disasters html | pdf
Luke 13:18-19 Mustard Seed pdf
Luke 13:20-30 Leaven & Decisions pdf
Luke 13:31-35 Mission Growth pdf
Luke 14:1-14 Teaching html | pdf
Luke 14:15-35 Commitment html | pdf
Luke 15:1-2 Lost pdf
Luke 15:3-10 Lost Sheep pdf
Luke 15:11-32 Lost Son pdf
Luke 16:19-31 Lazarus pdf
Luke 17:11-19 Perfect Response pdf
Luke 18:1-34 Being Prepared pdf
Luke 18:1-8 Hopelessness html
Luke 18:9-14 Self-righteous html
Luke 18:15-17 Neglected html
Luke 18:18-27 False-Confidence html
Luke 18:28-30 Faithfulness html
Luke 18:31-34 Remember html
Luke 18:35-43 Blind Man pdf
Luke 19:1-10 Tax Collector pdf
Luke 19:11-27 Ten Minas pdf

LUKE 19:28-24)

Luke 19:28-40 Palm Sunday pdf
Luke 19:35-38 Entry html
Luke 19:41-44 Weep Lost pdf
Luke 19:45 20-47 Preach pdf
Luke 20:26-40 Eternity pdf
Luke 22:1-06 The-Plot html
Luke 22:1-30 Introduction html
Luke 22:7-13 The Preparation html
Luke 22:14-23 The Passover html
Luke 22:24-30 Leadership html
Luke 22:1-30 Lord's Supper pdf
Luke 22:29-36 Temptation pdf
Luke 22:31-65 Temptation Handout pdf
Luke 24:13-35 Questions pdf
Luke 24:13-53 Resurrection pdf

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