Luke 14: How to party like Jesus
As a resource for your Journey Bible Project reading of Luke 14, below are Greg Taylor’s sermon notes for Luke 14. You can also hear sermons on iTunes podcasts, Buzzsprout, and on our web site here.
“How to Party Like Jesus”
Luke 14:7-24 | Feb 10, 2019 | Greg Taylor
Huge part of Jesus’ ministry (Matthew—5:27-32; Woman—7:37-50; 5,000–9:10-17; Eat what’s given—10:8; Party!—14:1-24; Zacchaeus—19:1-10; Emmaus—24:30-35).
Sit on a folding chair until your hosts ask you to take a better seat (Luke 14:7-11).
For everyone who acts important will be humbled, and the ones who are truly humble will be made important (Luke 14:11).
Watch Babette’s Feast to see how eating with someone gives/receives love.
Don’t invite only your friends to a party, but invite poor and disabled people (Luke 14:13).
Then you will be happy because they can’t repay you, so there’s no worry about paybacks (Luke 14:14).
John Mark Hicks: “The table is a place where Jesus was both a gracious guest and gracious host [received sinners with grace and confronts self-righteous]. So the table is a place where the church welcomes strangers. The table has a missionary quality, especially in light of the fact that the disciples receive their call to missions at a table. Jesus is willing to eat with sinners in order to invite them into the kingdom of God.”
Jesus’ parable of a banquet for the poor and disabled (Luke 14:15-24).
One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”
Modern Parable: A Bride, Boneless Chicken, and a Party!
Philip Yancey in What’s So Amazing About Grace tells this story: a young couple in Boston engaged, $13,000 Hyatt for wedding dinner. Groom got cold feet too late for bride to get back money.
Choice: eat loss no party, throw a party despite the sad turn of events. The would-be bride decided to bring dignity to the least of these in Boston. She sent invitations to rescue missions and homeless shelters.
Hyatt waiters in tuxedos served hors d’oeuvres to senior citizens, addicts, and homeless people propped up by crutches and aluminum walkers, sipped champagne, ate chocolate wedding cake, and danced to big-band melodies late into the night. That warm summer night, people who were used to peeling half-gnawed pizza off the cardboard dined instead on chicken cordon bleu . . . and ‘in honor of the groom,’ the hostess changed the menu to emphasis that the chicken was “boneless.”
When in Luke 5:27-32 Matthew threw a party to introduce his old IRS (that’s Israel Revenue Service) buddies to Jesus, some party poopers showed up, complaining that Jesus was eating with sinners. In v. 31 Jesus asks, “Who needs a doctor? I’m here to invite sinners not insiders.” Although Jesus didn’t share the sinful lifestyle of people he partied with, he looked past their outer appearance and behavior to see people who needed the love of God.
A Matthew Party is a get-together with the purpose of getting to know people far from God and introduce them to Jesus. The invitation list ought to include as many people far from God as those carefully chosen mature Christians who can help point people to Jesus. Picnics, BBQs, pool parties, block parties, game nights, Open Houses, Neighbor Night, Friend Day, Concerts in the Park . . . all to point people to Jesus.
Family Hospitality Planning — Our church family (and our individual families) can do some hospitality planning . . . but some of that is going to take place this Wednesday night. We’re going to party, and we’re going to plan a year of Matthew Parties in this neighborhood. Come Wednesday night back to WCA and join in this planning!
Greg Taylor, M.Div.
Greg Taylor is the preacher for The Journey. He holds degrees in Print Journalism from Harding University and a Master of Divinity from Harding School of Theology. Greg is working on his Doctor of Ministry at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where The Journey is located. Greg is married to Jill, who is a math teacher at Broken Arrow High School. They have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob, and of course they are very proud of each of what God has done in each one of their lives. Greg is author of several books you can order from your favorite bookseller.