Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Brief Analysis of Luke 13-22

Analysis of Luke 13-22 (the bold and italicized portions showing continuity of argument throughout the text), with a conclusion following:

Luke 13.22-30: “You will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But [the householder] will say, ‘I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.’ There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from the east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

[Luke 13.31-35: Jesus’ denouncement of Jerusalem as a response to the Pharisees who apparently seek to save his life from Herod.]

Luke 14.7-11: Jesus told a parable: “When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Luke 14.12-14: He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or your neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Luke 14.15-24: When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses…. So the servant came a reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

[Luke 14.25-35: Jesus’ teachings on denying one’s self, taking up cross; and a saying on salt.]

Luke 15.1-2: Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

[Luke 15.3-20.44: Various sayings and pericopes denouncing the Pharisees, scribes, chief priests, and Sadducees.]

Luke 20.45-47: And in the hearing all of the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and love salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Cf. especially 11.42-44!)

[Luke 21.1-38: Olivet Discourse.]

Luke 22.14-30: Various indicators that Jesus’ disciples accomplish what the Pharisees, et al, had been denounced for:

[Jesus] sat at table, and his apostles with him (22.14).

“I have earnestly desired [all this time] to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (22.15-16).

“I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (22.18).

A dispute arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “...[L]et the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have continued with me in my trials; and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (22.24-30).


Jesus repeatedly denounces the Pharisees, scribes, chief priests, and Sadducees as regards 1) presumed placement at table fellowship during meals and banquets [first/last; greatest/least], 2) the expectation of those who are truly invited to sit at table [Pharisees, et al, who are physically present and rest on that (cf. 13.22ff.), OR the poor, maimed, blind, lame from the east, west, north, south], 3) the coming of the kingdom of God in unique and unexpected fashion. The disciples sit in direct and obvious contrast to the Pharisees, et al. They physically sit at table with Jesus as Jesus FINALLY gets to enjoy table fellowship with them alone (cf. 22.15). Jesus shows them that placement at the table truly doesn’t matter, but service of one another matters. And Jesus promises to them, as opposed to the Pharisees, et al, that they will indeed eat and drink at Jesus’ table in the kingdom of God.

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