417 CHAPTER 27
418CONTINUATION OF THE PEREAN AND JUDEAN MINISTRY
418IN THE HOUSE OF ONE OF THE CHIEF PHARISEES
418On a certain Sabbath Jesus was a guest at the house of a prominent Pharisee. A man afflicted
with dropsy was there; he may have come with the hope of receiving a blessing, or possibly his
presence had been planned by the host or others as a means of tempting Jesus to work a miracle
on the holy day. The exercise of our Lord's healing power was at least thought of if not openly
intimated or suggested, for we read that "Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees,
saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?"
No one ventured to reply. Jesus forthwith
healed the man; then He turned to the assembled company and asked: "Which of you shall have
an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?"
learned expositors of the law remained prudently silent.
418Observing the eager activity of the Pharisee's guests in securing for themselves prominent
places at table, Jesus instructed them in a matter of good manners, pointing out not only the
propriety but the advantage of decent self-restraint. An invited guest should not select for himself
the seat of honor, for some one more distinguished than he may come, and the host would say:
"Give this man place." Better is it to take a lower seat, then possibly the lord of the feast may
say: "Friend, go up higher." The moral follows: "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased;
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
418This festive gathering at the house of the chief Pharisee included persons of prominence and
note, rich men and officials, leading Pharisees, renowned scholars, famous rabbis and the like.
Looking over the distinguished company, Jesus said: "When thou makest a dinner or a supper,
call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also
bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the
maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for
thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." This bit of wholesome advice was
construed as a reproof; and some one attempted to relieve the embarrassing situation by
exclaiming: "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God."
The remark was an
allusion to the great festival, which according to Jewish traditionalism was to be a feature of
signal importance in the Messianic dispensation. Jesus promptly turned the circumstance to good
account by basing thereon the profoundly significant
Parable of the Great Supper:
418A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to
say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent
began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs
go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen,
and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife,