One Sabbath Jesus went to have a meal at the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees where they watched him closely. A man was there whose arms and legs were swollen. So Jesus asked the experts in religious law and the Pharisees, “Does the law allow healing on the Sabbath, or not?” But they kept quiet. Jesus touched the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. Then Jesus said to them, “If your son or your ox happened to fall into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn't you go and pull him out immediately?” They weren't able to give an answer.
So he told a story to the guests, noticing how they'd chosen to sit in places of honor. When you're invited to a wedding reception, don't take the place of honor, because someone more important than you may have been invited,” he began. Your host who invited you both will come and tell you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then in embarrassment you'll have to move to whatever place is left. 10 Instead, when you're invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes in, he'll tell you, ‘My friend, please move to a better seat.’* Then you'll be honored before all the guests sitting with you. 11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then he said to the man who had invited him, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite your friends, or your brothers, or your relatives, or your rich neighbors, for they may invite you back, and then you'd be repaid. 13 Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, for they have nothing to repay you with, and you'll be rewarded at the resurrection of the good.”
15 When one of them eating at the table with Jesus heard this, he said to Jesus, “How wonderful it will be for those who feast in the kingdom of God!”
16 “Once there was a man who prepared a great banquet, and invited many guests,” Jesus replied. 17 When it was time to eat he sent his servant out to tell everyone who had been invited, ‘Come, because the banquet's ready.’ 18 But they all started to make excuses. The first said, ‘I've just bought a field and I have to go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I've just bought five pairs of oxen and have to go and try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, 20 I've just got married, so I can't come.’ 21 The servant returned and told his master what they'd said. The home-owner became angry and told his servant, ‘Quickly, go out into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’
22 Then the servant said, ‘Master, I did what you told me, but there are still empty places.’
23 So the master told the servant, ‘Go out on the country roads and lanes, and make people comeI want my house to be full. 24 I tell you, not a single one of those people I invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”
25 A large crowd was accompanying Jesus. He turned to them and said, 26 If you want to follow me but you don't hate your father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters—even your own lifeyou can't be my disciple. 27 If you don't carry your cross and follow me, you can't be my disciple. 28 If you planned to build a tower, wouldn't you first work out how much it would cost, and see if you had enough money to complete it? 29 Otherwise, if after laying the foundation you weren't able to finish it, everyone who saw it would laugh at you, saying, 30 ‘Look at him: he started building but he couldn't finish it.’
31 What king goes to war with another king without first sitting down with his advisors to work out whether he and his ten thousand can defeat the one marching against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he can't, he'll send representatives to ask for peace while the other king is still a long way off. 33 In the same way every one of you who doesn't give up everything can't be my disciple. 34 Salt is good, but if it loses its taste, how can you make it salty again? 35 It's no good for the soil or for fertilizeryou just toss it out. Whoever has ears, then listen!”
* 14:10 See Proverbs 25:7.