Translation Chapter 14
‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)again heals on the Sabbath
14One Sabbath ‘Īsā went to the home of a leading Pharisee for a meal. The Pharisees were watching him closely. 2 A man appeared in front of him who was suffering from oedema.3 ‘Īsā asked the experts in the Taurāt and the Pharisees, ‘Is it permitted to heal people on the Sabbath or not?’
4 But they kept quiet. So ‘Īsā took hold of the man and healed him, and then sent him on his way.
5 Then ‘Īsā said to them, ‘If your child or ox falls into a well on the Sabbath day, which of you would not immediately pull it out?’
6 But they were unable to give any answer.
Taking the place of honour
7 ‘Īsā noticed how the guests were choosing the places of honour, so he told them a parable. 8 ‘When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t take the place of honour. Someone more distinguished than you may have been invited, 9 and the host who invited you both would come and say to you, “Give up your place for this person.” Then, covered in shame, you would have to take the least important place.
10 ‘Instead, when you’re invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host comes, he’ll say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.” Then you will be honoured in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
Whom you should invite
12 Then ‘Īsā said to his host, ‘When you prepare a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends or your brothers and sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbours. If you do, they might invite you back and then you’d be repaid. 13 Instead, when you prepare a feast, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then you’ll be blessed, because they can’t repay you, for you’ll be repaid at the qiyāmatof the righteous.’
The parable of the great banquet
16 ‘Īsā said to him, ‘There was a man who prepared a great banquet and invited many people to it. 17 At the hour of the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come, because everything is now ready.”
18 ‘But they all alike began to make excuses. The first person said to him, “I’ve bought a field, and I must go out to see it. Please excuse me.”
19 ‘Another said, “I’ve bought five yoke of oxen and I’m going to try them out. Please excuse me.”
20 ‘Someone else said, “I’ve just got married, so I won’t be able to come.”
21 ‘The servant returned and reported all this to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and told his servant, “Go out at once into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring back the poor, the disabled, the blind and the lame.”
22 ‘The servant said, “Sir, your order has been carried out, and there is still room for more.”
23 ‘The master replied to the servant, “Go out into the country roads and along the hedgerows, and urge them to come in so that my house may be full.”
The cost of being a disciple of al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)
25 Great crowds were walking along with ‘Īsā. He turned and said to them, 26‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate their own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters,and even their own life, that person cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry their cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
28 ‘If one of you wants to build a tower, won’t you first sit down and calculate the cost to see whether you’ve got enough to finish it? 29 Otherwise you won’t be able to complete the building after having laid the foundation. Everybody who sees it will laugh at you. 30 They will say, “This person started to build and wasn’t able to complete it.”
31 ‘Or if a king is on his way to fight a battle against another king, won’t he first sit down and work out whether he is strong enough with ten thousand soldiers to face the king who is coming against him with twenty thousand? 32And if he’s not strong enough, he will send an envoy to ask for peace while the other king is still a long way off. 33 In the same way, anyone of you who does not give up all that you have, cannot be my disciple.
Al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)is not teaching that we literally have to hate the members of our family. He taught that people should, ‘honour your father and mother’ (18:20) and ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Injīl, Mark 12:31) – which includes family members. What he is teaching here is that we must love ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)so much that our love, even for our family members and our own lives, will be like hatred in comparison. And if ever we have to choose between following our family and following ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu), we must choose to follow al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu).
The verb, ‘loses its saltiness’ usually has the meaning, ‘to become foolish’. It seems that al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)is saying that those who do not count the cost of being his disciples and then give up are fools and as useless as salt that has lost its saltiness.