February 14, 2020 – Friday
Luke 14:12-14 NIV
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Thursday evening Bible Study covered the first fourteen verses in Luke 14 last night and we finished with the three verses above and looked at verse fifteen as well. However, it was the verses above that resulted in the most discussion.
Where we read do not ask, that should more properly be translated as do not habitually ask according to Geldenhuys in Guzik’s commentary who adds It isn’t wrong to ever invite your friends, your brothers, and so on; but it is wrong to only invite such people. Now that’s a thought: It is wrong to only invite such people – your friends, your family, and so on.
Of course few of us have the ability to give the banquets. Still we do often have dinners in our homes where we could invite those who are less fortunate and simply share a meal and conversation with them. Some of us may already do this and there are times when those less fortunate become friends as well.
The key point Jesus wanted to point out that it is wrong to only associate with people who can advance us or give something to us. It is easy, very easy, for us to limit our friends to a few comfortable, easy people, instead of reaching out to others. Those are the ones who are also likely to invite you back and so you will be repaid. Thus Jesus here instructed us to not associate with people only on the basis of what they could do for us. That is self-centered living; we are called to follow Jesus, and He showed others-centered living. (Guzik) This is not different from what Jesus instructed on the Sermon on the Mount when He addressed praying, giving, and fasting – don’t do it to be noticed here on earth for if you do you will have no reward in heaven for what you have done.
Additionally there is something amazing in giving a gift that simply cannot be repaid. This is some of the more blessed Jesus spoke of when He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive in Acts 20:35. This is from Guzik’s commentary and is well worth considering in our day to day actions. Especially when Guzik adds This helps to explain some of the pleasure of God in giving the gift of salvation and blessing to His people. God takes pleasure in giving something that simply cannot be repaid in any way shape or form. He gave us the greatest example through His Son on the cross paying the ransom for our sins, a gift of grace that cannot be repaid, only accepted.
So what are we to do? We don’t do things just to appear as if we are doing our Christian duty. Instead we are embrace what we might call our Christian duty out of appreciation and love for what God has chosen to do in our own lives. We can’t repay His gift to us, but we can show our appreciation by letting His light shine through us while giving Him all the credit that He richly deserves.
It’s Friday and I hope you have a Great Valentine’s Weekend. And I hope you remember to go to church giving thanks for the many gifts from God that cannot be repaid. Above all the gift of grace that makes our salvation possible. We truly serve a loving God.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton