One day--it was a Sabbath--He was taking a meal at the house of one of the Rulers of the Pharisee party, while they were closely watching Him.
In front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy.
This led Jesus to ask the lawyers and Pharisees, 'Is it allowable to cure people on the Sabbath?'
They gave Him no answer; so He took hold of the man, cured him, and sent him away.
Then He turned to them and said, 'Which of you shall have a child or an ox fall into a well on the Sabbath day, and will not immediately lift him out?'
To this they could make no reply.
Then, when He noticed that the invited guests chose the best seats, He used this as an illustration and said to them,
'When any one invites you to a wedding banquet, do not take the best seat, lest perhaps some more honoured guest than you may have been asked,
and the man who invited you both will come and will say to you, 'Make room for this guest,' and then you, ashamed, will move to the lowest place.
On the contrary, when you are invited go and take the lowest place, that when your host comes round he may say to you, 'My friend, come up higher.' This will be doing you honour in the presence of all the other guests.
For whoever uplifts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be uplifted.
Also to His host, who had invited Him, He said, 'When you give a breakfast or a dinner, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbours, lest perhaps they should invite you in return and a requital be made you.
But when you entertain, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind;
and you will be blessed, because they have no means of requiting you, but there will be requital for you at the Resurrection of the righteous.'
After listening to this teaching, one of His fellow guests said to Him, 'Blessed is he who shall feast in God's Kingdom.'
'A man once gave a great dinner,' replied Jesus, 'to which he invited a large number of guests.
At dinner-time he sent his servant to announce to those who had been invited, ''Come, for things are now ready.'
'But they all without exception began to excuse themselves. The first told him, ''I have purchased a piece of land, and must of necessity go and look at it. Pray hold me excused.'
'A second pleaded, ''I have bought five yoke of oxen, and am on my way to try them. Pray hold me excused.'
'Another said, ''I am just married. It is impossible for me to come.'
'So the servant came and brought these answers to his master, and they stirred his anger. ''Go out quickly,' he said, 'into the streets of the city--the wide ones and the narrow. You will see poor men, and crippled, blind, lame: fetch them all in here.'
'Soon the servant reported the result, saying, ''Sir, what you ordered is done, and there is room still.'
''Go out,' replied the master, 'to the high roads and hedge-rows, and compel the people to come in, so that my house may be filled.
For I tell you that not one of those who were invited shall taste my dinner.''
On His journey vast crowds attended Him, towards whom He turned and said,
'If any one is coming to me who does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be a disciple of mine.
No one who does not carry his own cross and come after me can be a disciple of mine.
'Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not sit down first and calculate the cost, asking if he has the means to finish it? --
lest perhaps, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to finish, all who see it shall begin to jeer at him,
saying, 'This man began to build, but could not finish.'
Or what king, marching to encounter another king in war, does not first sit down and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand men to meet the one who is advancing against him with twenty thousand?
If not, while the other is still a long way off, he sends messengers and sues for peace.
Just as no one of you who does not detach himself from all that belongs to him can be a disciple of mine.
'Salt is good: but if even the salt has become tasteless, what will you use to season it?
Neither for land nor dunghill is it of any use; they throw it away. Listen, every one who has ears to listen with!'