Luke #37: Table Talk

Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:35
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Boy Crisis… best thing we can do is eat meals together… because over a family dinner is where we can talk about difficult subjects.
Jesus wasn’t afraid to talk about tough topics over dinner either.
Luke 14:1–6 NIV
1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. 5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
v1. Pharisees trying to catch Jesus… Luke 11:53-54.
Have you ever felt set up?
This guy’s illness was real but his presence was a set up.
v3. Jesus asks to see if they can accept that healing was right… to the pharisee it had to be a life or death issue

Just your normal sabbath

Donkey in a ditch principle
Jesus likened the healing of the man with dropsy to pulling an animal out of a well. If the animal isn’t pulled out of the well, it will surely die.
If saving the life of an animal is something worth “breaking a sweat over” on the Sabbath, how much more should we care for a person!!!
Bringing healing to a person from any condition that diminishes their quality of life is not only permissible on the Sabbath but honors the Sabbath in the direct way God intends. God intends that good shall be done in His name and in His honor on the Sabbath as a way of setting the day apart for the purposes of God.
The Donkey in a Ditch Principle states that doing good on the Sabbath honors God’s holy intentions for our lives. Unfortunately, we often times give what I’d like to refer to as Donkey in the Ditch excuses when it comes to honoring the Sabbath and keeping it holy.
Taking a child to a soccer tournament is not a “Donkey in a Ditch.”
Sleeping in is not a “Donkey in a Ditch.”
Cleaning, organizing, and doing laundry is not a “Donkey in a Ditch”
Romans 14:5–6 NIV
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
This being said, as a Christian person we are still asked to “assemble together” (Hebrews 10:25) and to practice regular Sabbath in our lives.
The Sabbath is a day of rest. It is a day we should refrain from doing work. One day a week we are to completely focus on God’s intentions for our lives.
This is one reason why communal worship was created. To start one’s Sabbath with prayer, with praise, and with biblically inspired teaching is a way to prioritize God’s purposes for our lives.  
Just because we are supposed to rest on the Sabbath doesn’t mean we rest from doing good. John Wesley is quoted to have said that we should,
“Do all the good we can. By all the means we can. In all the ways we can. In all the places we can. At all the time we can. To all the people we can. As long as we ever can.”
Doing good in this way fulfills God’s purposes not only for the Sabbath but every other day as well!

Are there any places in your life where rules trump compassion and grace?

Rules rarely give life...
Luke 14:7–11 NIV
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
:7 What was going on?
Seated at the head table… First to be served… Extra attention…
:8 This would have been offensive to the Pharisees because who “more deserving of honor” would come?
Being humbled… thinking I was the one to be honored…

Where have you been tempted to seek your own honor?

Pride Test:
1. Do you long for a lot of attention?
2. Do you become jealous or critical of people who succeed?
3. Do you always have to win?
4. Do you have a pattern of lying?
5. Do you have a hard time acknowledging you were wrong?
6. Do you have a lot of conflicts with other people?
7. Do you cut in line at the store, airport, on the freeway, etc.?
8. Do you get upset when people do not honor your achievements?
9. Do you tend more toward an attitude of entitlement or thankfulness?
10. Do you honestly feel you are basically a good person and superior to others?
Luke 14:12–15 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.” 15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
:12-14 We all want to be seen as worthy of attention… don’t use the attention you give as a way to leverage relationships.
Doesn’t this seem like an odd way to invite guests to a party?
Why would inviting people who can’t repay be such a challenge to the host? He’s set himself up to be repaid… he’s expecting it at this point… everything he has done has been to gain influence… He’s invested.
IF you can live that way, you will be blessed.
:15 He’s right… but he’s making an dangerous assumption. that just because he is at this table that one day he will be at God's table.
He assumed that he would be at God’s table one day because in his judgement… he was worthy.
That’s what Jesus confronts in this final section today… the way we justify ourselves.
Self justification is nothing more than a defense mechanism… we all have them.
Some of these include:
Projection… when we see our problems in others… critical
Repression… consciously or unconsciously hiding the truth...
Denial… acting as though something isn’t true
Compensation… when we try to make up for flaws or shortcomings
Splitting… seeing people and things black or white - good or bad
Rationalizing… distorting the facts to make something more acceptable
I think all of these can be drawn out of the text, but I think the most clear one is rationalizing, in the form of making excuses.
Making excuses in order to allow ourselves to not do something we know we ought to do.
Luke 14:16–24 NIV
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”
:16-17 Save the date… Everyone was fine with it
But when the time came, they all made excuses in order to justify their decision not to attend after all.
All legitimate concerns… but more important than the party.

How many of our earthly concerns are really just excuses we use to let ourselves give what we really want priority over God and his kingdom?

Excuses were lame:
Who buys RE without looking at it?
Who buys livestock without check it out?
As for the wedding… this doesn’t change anything…
But they all made excuses in order to protect the host… they didn’t want to say what was really going on. They didn’t want to come.
They didn’t think the host could handle the truth.
For years I have good excuses for not having a regular quiet time… reading the bible and prayer… I would even pray:
“Lord, I’m so busy. Help me to simplify my schedule so I can put You first.”
One day in my reading I came across something that struck me hard.
When I meet a friend and they say let’s grab a bite to eat… I would respond, you name the time I eat at least 3 times a day...
That’s the truth, I rarely miss a meal, I get enough sleep most of the time. I find time for the things that are important to me and a bunch of things that aren’t. The reality is this quiet time wasn’t that important to me.
In my prayer it was though Jesus said I can handle that. Can you handle it?
Do you believe that God is big enough to handle our lack of love for him? if not, we have to make excuses.

The kingdom of God is a banquet that some people have found so dull they’d rather spend their time with business matters, property deals, or family concerns. Do we dare tell God, “Serving You is dull business”? God can deal with that as long as we don’t give Him some phony excuse.

Martin Luther once said that sin does not hurt us as much as our own righteousness. Excuses are an attempt to be righteous and innocent before God. God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ on the Cross is not innocence, but responsible guilt. I can be responsibly guilty and confess my failure, and I can be forgiven. When I am responsibly guilty there is a chance to move on. To live without excuses is to accept our humanity and fallibility, which is what real humility is all about. I can confess my failure because I have the security of being loved and forgiven by the ultimate Person.

The Lord be with you.
ALL: And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
ALL: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
You created us in your image as your representatives here on earth in relationships with You and for each other. But rather than live as a reflection of your love to one another, we choose to make excuses, condemn and judge one another, and hold the weak to account; all in order to justify ourselves in spite of our own sin and short comings.
But even when we failed to love You, Your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity to sin and death, You made a covenant to be our God, and You continued to lead and encourage us through the voices of Your prophets.
And so, with Your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise Your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are You, and blessed is Your Son Jesus Christ. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection You gave birth to Your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.
On the night in which he gave himself up for us, He took bread, gave thanks to You, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this is remembrance of me."
When the supper was over, he took the cup, Gave thanks to You, gave it to his disciples, and said:
"Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, In remembrance of me."
And so, In remembrance of these Your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ's offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
will come again.
Pour out Your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By Your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at His heavenly banquet.
Through Your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in Your holy church, all honor and glory is Yours, almighty Father, now and for ever.
Invite praise team to come up and play
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