141One Sabbath Jesus went to eat a meal at the home of one of the leading Pharisees; and people were watching Jesus closely. 2A man whose legs and arms were swollen came to Jesus, 3and Jesus asked the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, “Does our Law allow healing on the Sabbath or not?”
4But they would not say anything. Jesus took the man, healed him, and sent him away. 5
Then he said to them, “If any one of you had a son or an ox that happened to fall in a well on a Sabbath, would you not pull them out at once on the Sabbath itself?”
6But they were not able to answer him about this.
7Jesus noticed how some of the guests were choosing the best places, so he told this parable to all of them: 8
“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place. It could happen that someone more important than you has been invited, 9and your host, who invited both of you, would have to come and say to you, ‘Let him have this place.’ Then you would be embarrassed and have to sit in the lowest place. 10Instead, when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that your host will come to you and say, ‘Come on up, my friend, to a better place.’ This will bring you honour in the presence of all the other guests. 11
For all those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”
12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbours — for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. 13When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14and you will be blessed, because they are not able to pay you back. God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death.”
15When one of the men sitting at table heard this, he said to Jesus, “How happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God!”
16Jesus said to him, “There was once a man who was giving a great feast to which he invited many people. 17When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell his guests, ‘Come, everything is ready!’ 18But they all began, one after another, to make excuses. The first one told the servant, ‘I have bought a field and must go and look at it; please accept my apologies.’ 19Another one said, ‘I have bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to try them out; please accept my apologies.’ 20Another one said, ‘I have just got married, and for that reason I cannot come.’
21“The servant went back and told all this to his master. The master was furious and said to his servant, ‘Hurry out to the streets and alleys of the town, and bring back the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22Soon the servant said, ‘Your order has been carried out, sir, but there is room for more.’ 23So the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the country roads and lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you all that none of those who were invited will taste my dinner!’ ”
25Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26
“Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. 27
Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples.
28“If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and work out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. 29If you don't, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will laugh at you. 30‘This man began to build but can't finish the job!’ they will say.
31“If a king goes out with 10,000 men to fight another king who comes against him with 20,000 men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. 32If he isn't, he will send messengers to meet the other king, to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off. 33In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.
34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. 35It is no good for the soil or for the manure heap; it is thrown away. Listen, then, if you have ears!”