Luke 14:1 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentSeveral particulars are here worthy of our observation and imitation.
Note, 1. The freedom of our Lord's conversation with men: he delighted in human society, and was of a sociable temper; we do not find, that whenever he was invited to a dinner, he disdained to go, not so much for the pleasure of eating, as for the opportunity of conversing and doing good.
Note, 2. The house he goes into, and is entertained in, one of the chief Pharisees', who were some of his chiefest enemies; a great instance of our Lord's humanity, humility, and self-denial, in that he refused not the conversation of those whom he knew did not affect him; teaching us to love our enemies, and not to shun conversing with them, that thereby we may gain an opportunity of being reconciled to them.
Note, 3. The day when our Saviour dined publicly at the Pharisee's house, among the lawyers and Pharisees; it was on the sabbath day.
Learn hence, that it is not simply unlawful for us to entertain our friends and neighbors with a plentiful meal on the Lord's day; it must be acknowledged, that feasting upon any day is one of those lawful things which is difficulty managed without sin, but more especially upon that day, that it does not unfit us for the duties of the sabbath. However, our Lord's example in going to a public dinner amongst lawyers and Pharisees evidently shows the lawfulness of feasting on that day, provided we use the same moderation in eating and drinking that he did, and improve the opportunity as a season for doing good, as he has taught us by his example.
Note, 4. How, contrary to all the laws of behavior, the decency of conversation, and the rules of hospitality, the Pharisees watched him, making their table a snare to catch him, hoping they might hear something from him, or see something in him for which they might accuse him: He entered into the house of the Pharisees to eat bread, and they watched him.
Note, 5. Our Saviour chose the sabbath day as the fittest season to work his miraculous cures in; in the Pharisee's house he heals a man who had the dropsy, on the sabbath day. Christ would not forbear doing good, nor omit any opportunity of helping and healing the distressed though he knew his enemies the Pharisees would carp and cavil at it, calumniate and reproach him for it; it being the constant guise of hypocrites, to prefer ceremonial and ritual observation, before necessary and moral duties.
Note, 6. How our Saviour defends the lawfulness of his act in healing the diseased man, from their own act in helping a beast out of the pit on the sabbath day: as if Christ had said, "Is it lawful for you on the sabbath day to help a beast? And is it sinful for me to heal a man?"
Note, lastly, how the reason and force of our Saviour's argument silenced the Pharisees; convincing them, no doubt, but we read nothing of their conversion: the obstinate and malicious are much harder to be wrought upon than the ignorant and scandalous; it is easier to silence such men than to satisfy them; to stop their mouths than to remove their prejudices; for obstinacy will hold the conclusion, though reason cannot maintain the premises: They could not answer him again to those things.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.