When he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees (on a Sabbath) to eat bread, they were watching him. Behold, a certain man who had dropsy was in front of him. Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” But they were silent. He took him, and healed him, and let him go. He answered them, “Which of you, if your son or an ox fell into a well wouldn’t immediately pull him out (on a Sabbath day)?” They couldn’t answer him regarding these things.
He spoke a parable to those who were invited (when he noticed how they chose the best seats) and said to them, “When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don’t sit in the best seat… since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors… or perhaps they might also return the favor and pay you back. But when you make a feast… ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind and you will be blessed (because they don’t have the resources to repay you). For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”
When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is he who will feast in God’s Kingdom!” But he said to him, “A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ They all as one began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’ Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’ That servant came and told 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 the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’ The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’ The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in that my house may be filled. For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’”
Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and doesn’t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters… yes, and his own life also… he can’t be my disciple. Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross and come after me… can’t be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’ Or, what king as he goes to encounter another king in war will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off he sends an envoy and asks for conditions of peace. So therefore, whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has… he can’t be my disciple. Salt is good, but if the salt becomes flat and tasteless, with what do you season it? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”
He told them this parable. “Which of you men if you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
“Or what woman (if she had ten drachma coins) if she lost one drachma coin… wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’ Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.”
He said, “A certain man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ He divided his livelihood between them. Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living. When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country and he began to be in need. He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’
“He arose and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate… for this, my son, was dead… and is alive again! He was lost and is found.’ They began to celebrate.
“Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants to him and asked what was going on. He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’ But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore, his father came out, and begged him. But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours… but you never gave me a goat that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this, your son, came (who has devoured your living with prostitutes) you killed the fattened calf for him!’ He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead… and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’”
He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management… for you can no longer be manager.’ The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, (so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses).’ Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely… for the children of this world are (in their own generation) wiser than the children of the light. I tell you… make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous money… so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents.
He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous money… who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other… or else he will hold to one and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and money.”
The Pharisees (who were lovers of money) also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John… from that time the Good News of God’s Kingdom is preached… and everyone is forcing his way into it… but it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall.
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.
“Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen… living in luxury every day. A certain beggar (named Lazarus) was taken to his gate… full of sores… and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes (being in torment) and saw Abraham far off… and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus… that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue… for I am in anguish in this flame.’
“But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in the same way bad things. But here… he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed that those who want to pass from here to you are not able… and that no one may cross over from there to us.’
“He said, ‘I ask you, therefore father, that you would send him to my father’s house… for I have five brothers… that he may testify to them so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, Father Abraham… but if one goes to them from the dead they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets… neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’”
He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no occasions of stumbling should come… but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea… rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.
“Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in the day… and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ …you shall forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed… you would tell this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea’ …and it would obey you.
“But who is there among you (having a servant plowing or keeping sheep) that will say when he comes in from the field, ‘Come, immediately, and sit down at the table.’ And, will not rather tell him, ‘Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and serve me while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not! Even so, you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded, you say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty.’”
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- Luke 14:1-17:10