1 One Sabbath Jesus had gone to eat a meal in the house of a leading Pharisee, and he was carefully watched. 2 In front of him was a man suffering from dropsy; 3 so Jesus asked the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But no one answered. Jesus then took the man, healed him and sent him away. 5 And he addressed them, “If your lamb or your ox falls into a well on a Sabbath day, who among you doesn’t hurry to pull it out?” 6 And they could not answer.
The first places
• 7 Jesus then told a parable to the guests, for he had noticed how they tried to take the places of honor. And he said, 8 “When you are invited to a wedding party, do not choose the best seat. It may happen that someone more important than you has been invited, 9 and your host, who invited both of you, will come and say to you: ‘Please give this person your place.’ What shame is yours when you take the lowest seat!
10 Whenever you are invited, go rather to the lowest seat, so that your host may come and say to you: ‘Friend, you must come up higher.’ And this will be a great honor for you in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised.”
• 12 Jesus also addressed the man who had invited him and said, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbors. For surely they will also invite you in return and you will be repaid. 13 When you give a feast, invite instead the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. 14 Fortunate are you then, because they can’t repay you; you will be repaid at the Resurrection of the upright.”
A man once gave a feast
• 15 Upon hearing these words, one of those at the table said to Jesus, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!”
16 Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. 17 When it was time for the feast he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. 18 But all alike began to make excuses. The first said: ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.’ 19 Another said: ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.’ 20 Still another said, ‘How can I come when I have just married?’
21 The servant returned alone and reported this to his master. Upon hearing the account, the master of the house flew into a rage 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 The servant reported after a while: ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.’ 23 The master said: ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes and force people to come in, to make sure my house is full. 24 I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.”
The cost of following Jesus
• 25 One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26 “If you come to me, without being ready to give up your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not follow me carrying his own cross cannot be my disciple.
28 Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, if you have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: 30 ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
31 And when a king wages war against another king, does he go to fight without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand can stand against the twenty thousand of his opponent? 32 And if not, while the other is still a long way off he sends messengers for peace talks. 33 In the same way, none of you may become my disciple if he doesn’t give up everything he has.
34 However good the salt may be, if it has lost its taste, you cannot make it salty again. 35 It is fit for neither soil nor manure. Let them throw it away. Listen then, if you have ears!”
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