What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus does significant ministry around meals.
- Jesus challenges me to invite the lowly to my table and to take the lowest place.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- There is a high cost to discipleship—likened to the cost of building or going to war (verses 28-33).
- Expect to learn/teach the same lesson several times over.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning disciple-makers. Thank you for those of you who remain diligent in your pursuit of faithful discipleship.
Have you ever noticed how many important things happen in Jesus’ ministry around the dinner table? Most of this chapter occurs in that setting, at the home of a Pharisee. That in itself gives me pause. We KNOW that this is a trap from verse 1: “he was being carefully watched.” Who would want to go to a dinner where they were being scrutinized? But, in fact, we are ALL being carefully watched. The more courageous we are about declaring ourselves followers of Christ, the more our lives will be scrutinized. It may not be comfortable, but that’s the way it is… and one of our prayers ought to be that Jesus will strengthen us daily to reflect well upon him!
Several significant things happen at this Sabbath table. There is another very intentional healing by Jesus. Do you notice how he almost invites the criticism? Sabbath is for the re-creation of human beings and Jesus is not going to be intimidated by the false rules of the religious people. It becomes a table of healing. Also, it becomes a table of humility. Take the last seat rather than the first; don’t hog the place of honor in life. And it is a table of hospitality. It becomes a parable about the heart of the Father who desires to draw his children to himself. Notice, it is God’s longing that his house “be full.” This is a salvation parable that reveals the intent of God—his deep invitation to those who are resistant to his kindness.
Finally, notice a repeat of the theme we already heard from Jesus in Luke 9: the willingness of a would-be disciple to die daily to his own desires in order to follow Jesus. This final thought- the “cost of discipleship”- became the title of Bonhoeffer’s epic book. How I long and pray that I will not “peter” out; that at the end of my life, I will be found to have counted the cost of following Jesus and happily paid it.
How about you, dear friends?