Luke 14: Upside-Down Sayings

This Jesus we follow has made us a part of an upside-down kingdom.  There is what we know to be normal and conventional; Jesus’ way is usually the opposite.  I am drawn to the many sayings of Jesus that really illustrate this.  They speak such truth.  They are attractive in how contradictory they are to everything we know.  At the same time, they are also maddening because they call us to a new way of thinking that is uncomfortable and disorienting, so they are not how we would normally go about life.

Today’s chapter is full of those upside-down kingdom statements:

  • Don’t let your traditions guide all you do (14:3-6)
  • Don’t take a good seat at a party (14:7-11)
  • Don’t expect those most like you to accept your invitation to dinner (14:12-24)
  • Don’t think family is most important (14:26-27)
  • Don’t try to hang on to your possessions (14:33)

Jesus way may be upside-down to the way we normally think, but could it be that this makes all the difference?

What caught your eye in this chapter?

Categories: Luke | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Luke 14: Upside-Down Sayings

  1. Chris Dahlberg

    Thanks for this way of characterizing this chapter…upside-down thinking. In 1975 I made an upside-down decision. My college classmates couldn’t get their heads around NOT taking the programming position with IBM or Xerox, the two companies that zoomed in and tracked down all of us who had degrees in computer programming. And there were four or five more opportunities that were really interesting. You could work anywhere in the United States.

    Maybe one or two of them could accept the fact going into a doctoral program in educational research had its appeal, but then when I turned that down along with the grant funded programming position on a research project for the DoD and took a high school teaching position, they really thought I was making a mistake. About six years later, one of them asked me what job I was going to do when I finally grew up.

    That upside-down decision was fully supported by my parents, something I have always appreciated. Of my college friends, I know of only one who has continued to work in the field for any sustained period of time, but he took a very early retirement, before age 50. His goal became retire as early as possible with no real plan to do anything other than that.

    Upside-down decisions…I certainly could not have realized it at the time: listening to a call rather than chasing money makes all the difference.

    • Thanks for giving us a real life example of Jesus’ calling to upside down living. I have seen first-hand how your decision to obey has made a world of difference in the life of many students.

  2. I am struck by the parable of the diner party towards the end of the chapter. Why would these people refuse an invitation to a diner party so that they could check on recently purchased property, try out a new team of oxen, or get how to a new wife?

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that these are all one-time events, all of which are new. Whereas we do dinner every night. A dinner party is less frequent but still no new occurrence.

    The new and exciting seems to always grab our attention more than what seems routine. But are we missing the real rewards when we forsake the routine?

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