Rejoicing Over The Lost—Luke 15:1-10



Have you ever been lost? We all have been at one time or another. In fact, there are some here that are still lost—you’ll know what I mean in a few minutes.


A few months ago, Amanda Eller went hiking in Hawaii and got lost in a 2,000 acre forest reserve. She only intended to go for a short walk, but at one point, she got turned around and after hours of hiking, got hopelessly lost. Then she fell 20 feet off a steep cliff, fracturing her leg. Then she lost her shoes in a flash flood. When rescuers finally found her 17 days later, she was miles from her car. You can just imagine the joy she and her family felt when she was found. Someone used the word, “elated.”


Being found and joy go hand-in-hand. Not just for the one who was lost, but also for their family, and for those involved in the rescue (in Amanda’s case, that was about 150 or so, including one who was fired from his job for spending too much time with the rescue). The Pharisees and scribes, we are told, did not like the idea of rescuing people—

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Are You A Disciple?—Luke 14:25-35



25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 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


27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple


28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.


31 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? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple


34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 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. (Luke 14:25–35)


Three times in this passage, Jesus makes the statement, “cannot be my disciple.” What is meant by “disciple”?


The word for disciple appears 269 times in the New Testament—all of them in the Gospels and Acts. It does not appear at all in the rest of the New Testament.


The word “disciple” (mathētēs) means a follower or learner.  A disciple was someone who followed and learned from a teacher. We usually think of Jesus having disciples, but so did John the Baptist (Matthew 9:14), the Pharisees (Matthew 22:16), and Paul (Acts 9:25).


Jesus had many disciples who followed Him (Luke 6:17), but sometimes they stopped following Him and left (John 6:66; Luke 19:37-39). This tells us that not every disciple was a true believer in Christ. Those disciples who left, came to Jesus to learn if He was the Messiah and, finding Him not to their expectations, they left.


In our passage today, Jesus places some very strict requirements on being His disciple. As we look at His requirements, be asking yourself: is being a disciple the same as being a believer? 

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The One Who Gave Thanks—Luke 17:11-19



Gratitude is something that seems to get harder the more things that we have. We have to have a day set aside each year to remind ourselves to give thanks, and even on that day, we can be the most unthankful. The turkey is too dry. The weather is too miserable to drive to Grandpa and Grandma’s house. My football team is losing.


Even if things are going well, we find something to complain about. There’s a story about a mother whose son was swept away by a tornado. Immediately, she cried out the Lord for help, “Bring him back, I beg you!” Just then her son fell from the sky right at her feet! He stood, shaken from his experience, but otherwise completely and miraculously unharmed. The mother took one look at him and glared up at Heaven and said, “Lord, he had a hat!”


The account of the ten lepers is another case of this lack of gratitude even when something amazing happens to a person.

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The Invitation To The Lord’s Banquet—Luke 14:12-24



In the last lesson, we saw that Jesus got invited to dinner at the house of a chief Pharisee. Jesus healed a man sick with dropsy (edema). He also noticed how the guests maneuvered to get the best seat. He challenged them not to be so prideful and to take the lowest seat instead.


But that is not all that happened that day at the dinner. Jesus turned to the host and spoke directly to him:


Luke 14:12 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. 


Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed [crippled], the lame, the blind: Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 


The Pharisees were very much concerned about social status and etiquette. Accepting a dinner invitation meant that you owed the host something—some sort of recognition and repayment. A picture in the newspaper of the two of you shaking hands. He would be greatly offended if you just came and ate and then you didn’t give anything in return.


Jesus challenges this social notion by calling them to invite the kind of people who can’t pay them back. He challenges them to instead wait for their repayment at the end, at the resurrection. That causes one of them to blurt out a Jewish blessing about the coming kingdom— 


Luke 14:15 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. 


Why does this person say this? Scholars are divided on whether he was being honest or devious. I don’t know. I am going to say that he was apparently expressing his hope in the messianic banquet that would take place when the Messiah came.


The man was seemingly excited, like all Jews should have been, to eat with the Messiah in the kingdom of God. Jesus’s point in the parable will be: are you really that excited for the Lord’s banquet? Here was the Messiah among them and yet they were rejecting Him (John 1:11)!

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Which Seat Do You Take?—Luke 14:1-11



Luke 14:1 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. 


Jesus may have been the guest teacher in the local synagogue that sabbath day, and then he was invited over for dinner afterwards. 


But the chief Pharisee’s motive was not all hospitality, as we can tell from that ominous ending of this verse, “they watched him.” 


The word “watched” (paratēreō), has to do with watching very closely (Cf. 6:7, 20:20), like a spy waiting for an opportunity to strike.


Very likely the chief Pharisee who had invited Jesus had heard of the incident in recounted in Luke 13:10-17. Jesus had healed a woman in the synagogue on the sabbath, angering the ruler of the synagogue.


Now, he laid a trap for Jesus, just as the Pharisees had been trying to do for some time. Luke records that they were…


54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. (Luke 11:54)


What was the trap? We see it next—

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Compassion Drove Jesus To The Cross—Luke 13:31-35



31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. 


32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. 33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. 


34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 


35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:31–35)


Mothers will do almost anything to protect their children, won’t they? 


One mom found herself in a trapped in burning third story apartment with her 18 month old son. What did she do? She grabbed the baby tightly in her arms and jumped out the window. She has had to have back surgery, but the son only had a scratch on him.


A Kentucky mother shielded her children from flying debris during a tornado. She lost parts of both her legs, but the children are safe.


A cougar attacked a little girl, but it didn’t count on the girl’s mother who dived in-between it and the girl. The mom stood up with the cougar on her back and threw it off. The little girl’s response? “Why didn’t the kitty play nice?” (


Stories like these could be multiplied by the thousands. What drives a mom to protect her children—even to risk her life for them? Love and compassion.


What drove Jesus to die for us? We find out in this passage that it’s a mother’s compassion. Just as a mother’s compassion drives her to be committed to her mission—her children—so Jesus’s compassion drove him to be committed to his mission—the cross.


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Jesus’s Salvation Invitation—Luke 13:22-30


22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? 

And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 

28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. (Luke 13:22-30)

This passage begins with a question that someone asks Jesus: 

Luke 13:22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 

Notice how Luke continues to emphasize Jesus’s march to Jerusalem. His mission is to die on the cross and Luke wants us to see how determined he was to complete that mission.

Along the way he gets this question from a man. During Jesus’s ministry, he answered a lot of questions; some were honest questions and some were questions designed to trap him. 

What prompted this man to ask the question that he did? Did he ask this sarcastically? Or was it an honest question? Continue reading