He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table. Luke 14:7 (NAS)Read Luke 14:1-15
Note to self. It’s not a good idea to invite the “greatest of all time” to dinner. If you think this will be a good chance to corner him in front of witnesses you will be sadly mistaken. Jesus used this occasion for maximum impact. In the end some of the attendees were saying how great it would be to dine at his house.
He started by healing a man thought to be incurable on a day when no work was to be done. Then afterwards he dressed down his critics with, and I paraphrase, “would you hesitate because it’s the Sabbath to rescue your own son or ox if either fell in a hole?” Of course they’d do the “work” to save them! Thus, they all were speechless. No reply at all.
Then he moves on to study how the guests chose their seats, as kittens vying for a bowl of food. He shares a parable, meaning only those who were inclined towards him would catch the meaning (Luke 8:10), and then another, to drive home his point.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
Both parables, in fact rendered practically helpful social wisdom.
Imagine the conversations as the guests walked home. The humiliated lawyers and Pharisees resolve to “double down,” while those who got the message had “gone to church.”
In a sense Luke “blesses the meal” at the end, recounting the statement of one guest, “When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this [i.e., witnessed all this], he said to Him, ‘Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’” Luke 14:15
This exclamation invoked one parting parable, a portent of things to come. Luke 1:16-24. To be continued.