One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?"4
But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.
Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"6
And they had nothing to say.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
8"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."12
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'18"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'19"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'20"Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'21"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'22" 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'23"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.34"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him.
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
Then Jesus told them this parable:
4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'20So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. '22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "