Jesus speaks words of encouragement. Rebukes an officious Pharisee. Attends a wedding feast. Heals a dropsical man. Rebukes guests who seek chief seats. Relates a parable of a wedding feast.
AND Jesus went into another town upon the coast and spoke good words of cheer to those who followed him.
2 And one stood forth and said, Lord, are there few that enter into life?
3 And Jesus said, The way is rough that leads to life; the gate is narrow and is guarded well; but every one who seeks in faith shall find the way, and they who know the Word may enter in.
4 But many seek the way for selfish gain; they pound upon the gate of life; but it is fast.
5 The watchman from the turret says, I know you not; your speech is that of Ashdod, and your robes are those of sin; depart and go your way.
6 And they will go their way with weeping and with gnashing of the teeth.
7 And they will be enraged when they see their father Abraham with Isaac, Jacob and the prophets, resting in the kingdom of the Christ, and they themselves debarred.
8 And, lo, I say that men will come from lands afar, from east, from west, from north, from south and sit with me in consciousness of life.
9 Behold, I say, the last shall be the first, the first shall be the last.
10 All men are called unto the kingdom of the Christ; but few are chosen, for the pure in heart alone can see the king.
11 And as he spoke a Pharisee came up and said, You man of Galilee, if you would save your life remain not here; flee instantly, for Herod swears that he will take your life, and even now his officers are seeking you.
12 And Jesus said, Why is it that the Pharisees are so concerned about my life? And then he said unto the man who spoke,
13 Go forth and say to that sly fox, Behold, I heal the sick and cast the unclean spirits out to-day, tomorrow, and the days to come, and then I will attain.
14 Go say to him, I need not fear in Galilee, for I must meet the cruel wrath of men within Jerusalem.
15 And while they tarried in the place a man, a Pharisee, invited Jesus and a few of those who followed him, to dine with him upon the Sabbath day, to celebrate the marriage of his son.
16 Among the guests was one afflicted with a dropsical disease.
17 And Jesus said to those who had been sent to get from his own lips some words by which they might accuse him of a crime,
18 You lawyers and you Pharisees, what do you say about the lawlessness of healing on the Sabbath day? Here is a man, one of your own, and he is sore distressed.
19 Shall I, in God's own strength, say out the healing Word and heal this man?
20 The lawyers and the Pharisees were dumb; they answered not.
21 Then Jesus spoke the healing Word and healed the man and he, rejoicing, went his way.
22 Then Jesus said again unto the lawyers and the Pharisees, Which one of you who has a horse or cow, if it would fall into a pit upon the Sabbath day would fall would not call in his friends to help to draw it out?
23 And not a man could answer, Here am I.
24 As Jesus looked upon the guests who had been bidden to the feast and saw them crowding in to get the highest seats, he said to them,
25 You selfish men, why do you strive to take the highest seats when you are but invited guests? You do not show our host the courtesies of life.
26 When men are bidden to a marriage feast they should sit in the lower seats until the host shall place them where he wills.
27 You may, unbidden, take the highest seat; but then a man more honourable may come and when the host shall bid you rise and take a lower seat that he may honour his more worthy guest, you cannot help but blush for very shame in your humility.
28 But if you take the lowest seat and then are honoured by your host and asked to take a higher seat, you are esteemed an honoured guest.
29 In this event we note a principle in life, That he who would exalt himself shall be abased, and he who humbles low himself shall be exalted in the sight of men.
30 Then Jesus spoke to all the guests; he said, When any one of you would make a feast it should not be for friends, or kindred, or the rich;
31 For they consider such a courtesy loaned out, and they feel called upon to make a greater feast for you, just in the payment of a debt.
32 But when you make a feast invite the poor, the lame, the blind; in this a blessing waits for you, for well you know that you will get naught in return; but in the consciousness of helping those who need, you will be recompensed.
33 And then he spoke a parable; he said, A wealthy man prepared a feast; he sent his servants forth to bid his chosen ones to come; but they desired not to go, and they formed such excuses as they thought would satisfy the would-be host.
34 One said, I have just bought a piece of land, and I must go and prove my title to the land; I pray to be excused.
35 Another said I must go down and prove my ownership in sheep that I have bought; I pray to be excused.
36 Another said, I have been married but a little time and so I cannot go; I beg to be excused.
37 Now, when the servants came and told the man who had prepared the feast that those he had invited would not come,
38 The man ws grieved in heart; and then he sent his servants forth into the streets and alleys of the town to bring up to the feast the poor, the lame, the blind.
39 The servants went abroad and found the poor, the lame, the blind, and brought them in; but there was room for more.
40 The host then sent his men of arms to bring by force the people to his feast; and then the house was full.
41 And God has made a feast for men. Long years ago he sent his servants forth unto the favoured sons of men. They would not hear his call; they came not to the feast.
42 He then sent forth his servants to the strangers and the multitudes; they came, but there is room for more.
43 Behold, for he will send his angels forth with mighty trumpet blast, and men will be compelled to come up to the feast.