1 And it happened on a Sabbath day, when Jesus went to the house of one of the leading Pharisees for a meal, that they [i.e., probably other Pharisees who were also guests] were watching Him closely. 2 And there He saw a certain man suffering from dropsy [Note: This is a condition in which the tissues of the body retain too much fluid]. 3 So, Jesus asked the teachers of the law of Moses and the Pharisees, saying, "Is it permissible by the law of Moses to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?" 4 But they did not say anything. So, Jesus took hold of the [sick] man, and [after] healing him, sent him away. 5 Then He said to them, "Which one of you, who has a son or an ox that falls into a well, would not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?" 6 And they were not able to give an answer to these things.
7 Then Jesus told a parable to those who had been invited [i.e., the dinner guests at the Pharisee's house. See verse 1], because He noticed how they were choosing places of honor [at the dinner table]. [So], He said to them, 8 "When somebody invites you to a wedding reception, do not recline at the head of the table [Note: See Matt. 23:6], for maybe someone more honorable than you has been invited by the host. 9 Then the one who invited both of you will come [over] and say to you, 'Give this man your seat [at the table],' and then you will be embarrassed and have to move to the least important seat.
10 But when you are invited [i.e., to a wedding reception], go and recline at the least important seat, so that when the host comes [over to you], he will say, 'Friend, move up to a better seat.' Then you will be shown honor in front of everyone at the dinner table. 11 For every person who exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, but the person who humbles himself will be exalted [as important]."
12 Then Jesus also said to the Pharisee who had invited Him [to dinner], "When you prepare a breakfast or a supper, do not invite your friends, or brothers, or relatives or rich neighbors [only], for maybe they will invite you back, and [then] you will be repaid [for your kindness]. 13 But when you prepare a banquet, invite people who are poor, handicapped, crippled and blind [as well]. 14 Then you will receive a blessing, because these people do not have anything to pay you back with, for you will be paid back when righteous people are raised from the dead."
15 And when one of the people who were reclining at the [supper] table with Jesus heard this, he said to Him, "The person who will eat bread in the [coming] kingdom of God is [certainly] blessed."
16 But Jesus replied to him, "A certain man prepared a lavish supper and invited many [guests]. 17 When the supper was about ready, he sent his slave out to tell those who were invited, 'Come, for everything is [now] ready.'
18 Then all of them, in the same way, began to excuse themselves [from attending]. The first one said to the host, 'I just bought some land and I need to go out and look it over, so please excuse me [from attending the supper].'
19 And another person said, 'I just bought five teams of oxen and I need to go and test them out, so please excuse me [from attending the supper].'
21 Then the slave returned and told his master about these things. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring people who are poor, and handicapped, and blind and crippled in here [i.e., to the supper].'
22 And the slave said, 'Master, I did what you ordered me to do, and still there is room [at the dinner table].'
23 Then the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the roads and along the brushy trails and urge people to attend [the supper] so that my house will be full [of guests].' 24 For I tell you, not one of those who were invited will [even] taste my supper."
25 Now large crowds were following Jesus and He turned [around] and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to me [i.e., to be my disciple], and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters and, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 [And] whoever does not carry his own cross [i.e., his responsibilities with all their difficulties] and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 For which one of you who wants to build a [lookout] tower will not first sit down and calculate its cost, to see whether he has enough [money and materiel] to complete it? 29 For if he does not, maybe after he has laid the foundation and [then] is not able to complete [the tower], everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This man began to build [a tower] but was not able to finish it.'
31 Or what king, planning to engage another king in war, will not first sit down and evaluate whether he will be able, with ten thousand [soldiers], to defeat someone who attacks him with twenty thousand [soldiers]? 32 Or maybe, while the enemy is still a long way off, he will send representatives to ask for peace terms. 33 So therefore, every one of you who does not say 'goodbye' to everything he owns, cannot be my disciple.
34 Therefore salt is good, but if it loses its flavoring [ability], how will it ever get it back again? 35 It is not suitable for the soil [i.e., for growing crops] or for fertilizer, but [only] for people to throw out. [See note on Matt. 5:13]. The person who has ears to hear with ought to listen [to this] carefully."