Joseph Prince - Understanding Grace And Discipleship, Comparing Luke 14 And Luke 15
Now, last week we started on John 3 and John 4. I was sharing with you about how God teaches me sometimes from comparison of passages of Scripture like two chapters side by side in juxtaposition so that we can see by way of compare and contrast what God has for us, amen? For example, some years ago, the Lord showed me that in Luke 18 and Luke 19, we see law and grace. In Luke 18, Jesus gave the law to the rich young ruler. He can hardly give a dollar, right? The next chapter, Luke 19, Jesus gave grace to a sinner, all right, a tax collector and it opened up his house, opened up his wallet, opened up his heart, amen?
So, it goes to show that grace makes people generous, and the Holy Spirit put these two stories side by side. It most likely did not happen chronologically, but it's there by divine order. Then last week we saw John 3 and John 4 put side by side and this really blessed me. You know, John 3 and John 4, you have Nicodemus in John 3 and in John 4, you have that sinner woman of Samaria, right? So, in John 3, you have a man, John 4, you have a woman. In John 3, you have a theologian, amen? John 4, you have a sinner woman who at that time when Jesus met her was living in adultery.
Now, for that theologian, he came to Jesus by night. He didn't want his colleagues to see him come to Jesus. For that woman, Jesus came to her in broad daylight, amen, right, because at an hour when it's very, when the sun is fierce and no woman will come to draw water at that time. So, the theologian came by night, Jesus came to that woman by day but notice this, the theologian had to come to Jesus, Jesus went to that sinner woman. Are you listening, people, all right? I just want to show you how Jesus is at home with sinners but if you want to be a theologian, all right, and God wants us all to be students of his Word, okay, but not theologians that is worthy and dry, amen?
When Jesus came, the Pharisees were theologians. They knew their Bible. They knew the Torah. They knew their Homash, they knew their Talmud. They knew all their rabbinical writings, but they didn't know the author of the Bible standing in front of them, amen? For that theologian Jesus says, "You must be born again". He never said that to the woman, amen? And there are some ministries, they may not preach, "You must be born again," but they preach simple illustrations like water, "If you drink from this water, you will thirst again," obviously not referring to the physical water but her relationships. "But if you drink the water that I give you, you will never thirst again," amen?
So, there are preachers like that and theologians should not knock them, amen? But for the theologian, he came with these first two words to Jesus, "We know, we know," they always know. "We know you're a teacher from God. We know grace is from God". And Jesus looked at him and says, "Everything about you, all your erudite learning, all your scholarship, all of you must be born again," amen. He never said that to the woman. Are you with me?
Now, of the two of them, with whom was Jesus at home with? Who was the one that he revealed himself as Messiah? That woman, amen? Because if you act as a theologian, he's not there, all right, as your teacher. Jesus came primarily to be our Savior, amen? As long as you see him as a teacher, as something you can learn from, it can be pride. You can say, "I can do it myself. Just teach me what you have learned. Teach me your principle of success. I'm not looking to you, I'm just looking to what you did". Are you listening, people? "To what you know," rather. All right, but Jesus wants you to feed on him. He calls himself the bread of life. What do you do with bread? You eat it, amen? He calls himself the living water, amen, what do you do with water? You drink him, hallelujah, amen?
And it was to that woman he revealed himself as a Messiah and then not only that when the disciples came back, by the way, even God wanted Jesus to be alone with that woman because the secret, the cure for lonely hearts is time alone with Jesus, amen? And even the disciples had to go for Jesus to be alone and when Jesus spoke to that woman, he spoke with such divine tact, all right, even for Nicodemus he would say things like, "Are you a master in Israel and do not know such things"? Or for that woman when he says, "Go call your husband here," she says, "I have no husband". And Jesus says, "You have well said you have no husband". He even praised her, all right, for saying, "I have no husband. I had five husbands". Jesus said, "You have had five husbands". He praised her for being honest and saying she has no husbands, no husband.
And Jesus says actually in the Greek, "You have beautifully said you have no husband. You have had five husbands and the one that you're living with is not your husband. In that, you have honestly said". He gave her a divine sandwich, praising her, right, amen? This is the way the Lord deals with sinners. He comes to them, not with an attitude of, "I'm exposing you to condemn you". No, "I'm exposing you so that you know who's the one talking to you and that you'll know I know everything about you and I still love you. That's why I took that long journey".
You see, if we always put our best foot forward in a dating relationship, we'll never know how much God loves us or the person loves us, okay, because we are always putting our best foot forward. In order for you to really feel love, you must know that the person knows everything about you and still loves you. That's when you know you are loved, amen? So, Jesus did with the woman. What a beautiful, I mean pastors and leaders that's watching this, I want to encourage you, make a study of that woman because she became an instant evangelist. One moment she was afraid to come with the other women early in the morning. She came later on in the day to avoid them.
Next thing you after her time with Jesus, she went out and became an instant evangelist to her village. "Come see a man who told me everything about myself". Study that. What is it about grace that makes her an instant evangelist? Now, Nicodemus, the theologian, he was also saved but every so slow, amen? We see him later on making a stand for Jesus before the Sanhedrin, all right, the Jewish counsel, and then later on after Jesus died, they brought Jesus's body down and they wound him up with fine linen, all right, who did that? Nicodemus, all right? It's as if to say, if conversion is slow but I don't believe in slow conversion. Somewhere along the way he got saved, but slow. But Jesus, spending time with that woman, amen, giving her grace, she knew that she was in the presence of one who knew everything about her, still loved her, and that made her an instant evangelist.
Wow, I love it, don't you? Which individual made Jesus feel at home? Was it Nicodemus the theologian or the woman? The disciples came back and they said, "Master, eat". The Lord says, "I have food to eat that you do not know of it". He looks refreshed. He looks like he has fed well. He looks like he's at rest, why? A sinner has come and taken from the Savior and that's what makes him feel at home. I got another one for you today, you ready? All right, we're gonna compare two chapters together, all right, Luke 14 and Luke 15, and what a feast is in store for us. You ready? Luke 15 and Luke 14 in juxtaposition, okay?
Now, let's go to Luke 15 first. I want to show you the backdrop and set you for the Luke 14 because we're gonna study a lot from Luke 14, but there are a lot of questions that believers are asking, "Pastor Prince, what about discipleship? What about taking up the cross, denying yourself, forsaking all that you have to become Jesus's disciple"? Well, all that will be answered, all right, in today's lesson. And I just want to show you how God the Holy Spirit put these two events side by side and, in fact, they are in chronological order because Luke 15, verse 1 begins like this, "Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him".
Then, can you see that? It begins with then. What is then? Then means after that, after the event in chapter 14 then drew near to Jesus all the tax collectors and sinners to hear Jesus, okay? Now, the Pharisees were there. Notice, they are there, all right, they are there already and you will see why in chapter 14. "The Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, 'This Man receives sinners and eats with them.'" I pray that they will accuse you of that also. What a wonderful appellation, what a wonderful accusation to be called a friend of sinners, amen? Are you a friend of sinners? "Yes". God wants you to be a friend of sinners, amen, because our Lord is a friend of sinners. That's the accusation they bring against Jesus.
All right, so, before you come to the then, all the tax collectors and sinners drew near to hear Jesus. Let's go to Luke 14, all right, the chapter before this and you'll find it's like two worlds. Obviously, this chapter 15 is the world of God, amen, because right after the Pharisees complained, Jesus shared a parable of a hundred sheep, all right, of a shepherd and one sheep was lost and the shepherd left the 99 to look for that one lost sheep. And then comes the woman with the ten coins, she lost one piece and the woman lit a candle and sought that piece out until she found it. Then came the story of what we call the prodigal son, all right, the father had two sons and all that. All these three parables of grace, all right, is to be compared with the three parables of demand in Luke 14.
Let me explain. Grace supplies, law demands. Law demands righteousness, grace supplies righteousness, amen. Law says, "I will by no means clear the guilty. I'll visit the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation". Grace says, "I'll be merciful to their iniquity and their sins and lawless deeds I remember no more". No more means God used to remember it, but no more because at the cross, God remembered all our sins in the body of Jesus Christ and God's holiness judged and punished his Son in our stead, in our place so that today God's holiness declares our sins he remembers no more.
All right, God is doing it through his holiness, through his righteousness, amen? Are you with me? All right, don't live in the wrong covenant. Law never made a missionary. Law has no desire to share with people anywhere. Grace proclaims the good news everywhere, amen? So, let's go to Luke 14 right now and Jesus, you will find that Jesus is at home in Luke 15, but in Luke 14, he's not at home, okay? Let's go to Luke 14, verse 1, "Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely". So, Jesus stepped into the house. Say, "The house".
All right, this is a man's world, man's world where everything depends on your outward facade, your trappings, what you have, your scholastic ability, all right, your financial title, all that matters a lot, all right, the who's who in the Jerusalem zoo, they're all there in this Pharisee's house. You're about to find that out. They're all there, okay? So, Jesus in Luke 15, all right, I don't want to get ahead of myself. It is his world. In his world, all right, the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, they're all found, but in Luke 14, he stepped into man's world, into the house.
Remember I shared with all of you in Matthew 13, in Matthew 12 how he was rejected by the Jews and then the very first verse of the next chapter it says, "Jesus left the house and sat by the seaside". Seaside, sea is always a picture of the Gentiles. He left the house, he left Israel and preached the good news to the Gentiles, the seven parables of the kingdom. All right, so likewise, now Jesus stepped into the house, into man's world, okay, and the Pharisees invited him, not just any Pharisee. This man is a ruler like Nicodemus, he was a master, he was a ruler of the Pharisees, one of the rulers of the Pharisees, and they invited Jesus to eat bread and they watched him closely.
How would you like it someone invite you to eat, all right, you sit in front of them, they're not eating and they do this... They scrutinize how you set your tablecloth, how you pick up the spoon. They observe how you swallow, whether you eat with your mouth closed or not. And after that they look at you halfway and they tell you, all right, there's a green bead there, how do you feel? So, Jesus did not feel at home in this world of men, all right, nonetheless he went, okay? "And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy".
Now, this was on the Sabbath day by the way. There was a man who was suffering from a certain kind of water disease, some say it's elephantiasis, all right, which is someone who is, I mean they're all bloated okay, and they look really bad. So, it's a disease and the Bible tells us that Jesus asked them this question, he asked the Pharisees, "It is lawful to heal on the Sabbath"? But they kept silent. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go. Now, we are preparing you for God's world in Luke 15, the world of grace. But before that, you need to see man's world because however it affected Jesus, or however he responds to it in these two worlds, don't forget, he's the same yesterday, today, and forever, amen? You will know how to flow with him.
All right, so he's still in the house with many guests, many Pharisees were in the house. It was probably a huge like a palace, like a huge house, all right? Next verse, "Jesus answered them saying, 'Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?'" So, he has healed the man. He's let the man go, right, but then Jesus asked them this question, "Which of you having a donkey or an ox that falls into a pit will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day"? Notice, they didn't answer him. It was a hypocritical silence. They were there to find fault with him.
Now, how does Jesus see people who fall sick? He doesn't go to the pit. He see them as people falling into the pit, all right? And when they fall into the pit, what do you do with animals that fall into the pit? You pull them out. If you can have compassion on animals, how much more precious human being? But instead of that, come to the pit with our list and say, "Have you confessed all your sins? Have you forgiven your mother-in-law? Have you read your Bible, you know"? So, we come with all kinds of things and Jesus taught us that if you see someone sick, don't ask questions, heal them. Freely you have received, freely give. Can I have a good amen? So, they kept quiet, all right?
So, "Jesus told a parable to those who were invited". Now he's speaking to all the guests, the invitees. Later on, he will speak to the host, but first he's gonna speak to all the guests of the house, all right? Now, I must warn you first, Jesus obviously did not read the book "How To Win Friends And Influence People," okay? So, but, you know, I just love to see Jesus in all these settings. Watch him. He's speaking now to all the guests that were invited, all right, by this Pharisee.
"He told a parable to those that were invited, when he noted how they chose the best places, saying to them". All right, "When someone invites you to a wedding feast," he tells them, "Don't choose the best seat of the house, all right? Let someone more honorable than you come and the host comes to you and say, 'Excuse me, can you take a lower seat,' and with shame, you take a lower seat. But when someone invites you for a wedding feast, take the lower seat," Jesus says, "so that your host will come and tell you, 'Come up higher, my friend,' and then you'll have honor in the sight of all your friends". Then Jesus said this, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted".
Now, some people think that God doesn't want us exalted, all right? No, this verse says God doesn't want you to exalt you. God wants you to humble yourself and God will exalt you, amen. When God exalts you, no man can unexalt you, amen. If you exalt you, you have to maintain you in where you have exalted you. It is pretty stressful, y'all. When you exalt you, you have to maintain that position. You have to maintain it. You have to look behind you all the time to see whether someone will come on your blind side and take over. When God exalts you, what can man do when God exalts? You see, God did not say, "He who humbles himself, remain humble". No, God says, "You will be exalted if you humble yourself, you will be exalted," amen?
One of the prophecies of John the Baptist, the predecessor of our Lord Jesus who prepared the way for our Lord, he quoted this verse from Isaiah 40, "When the Messiah comes, every valley shall be exalted". Those who are humble will be raised. Every mountain, the Pharisees, those who are proud, will be made low and there'll be a straight path for the Lord, amen? So, when you humble yourself, God exalts you, amen. You don't want man to exalt you. You don't want you to exalt you. You want God to exalt you. God's hands are bigger. Where's the mic? God's hands are bigger, amen? Okay, let's go on. So, he spoke to the, just now he spoke to the invitees, the guests.
Now, he speaks to the hosts. I told you he didn't read that book, "How To Win Friends". Now, he tells the hosts who invited him, "He said to him who invited Him, 'When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid". Jesus says now, please understand, he's not talking about your birthday party, you invite selected friends or you have a close party, he's not talking about that. He's talking about the party that he was in where man was exalting man, where man was showing off to man, where the pride of life, the world was there. The Lord wasn't comfortable in this world. It's like he cannot breathe a comfortable atmosphere. Are you listening, people?
And that's why he said, "You know, if you cannot enjoy this world". Come to my world in Luke 15. I'm getting ahead of myself. Okay, wait, let's stay in this world first and suffer a while more, okay? So, he told them this, "Look, when you invite, don't just invite your rich neighbors". He noticed that all the, all the glitter and the bling, bling, all right, the host had rich neighbors on either side around him and Jesus says, "You know, when you invite". He's talking to the hosts in front of everybody. He says, "When you invite your guests, invite, don't just invite the rich neighbors, your friends, your relatives, because they'll repay you. Invite the blind, the maimed, the poor, the lame. They cannot repay you and you shall be blessed," Jesus said. Okay, are you with me so far?
All right, now, after he said that, then he shared the parable he'd been wanting to share. In this chapter you will find three parables, all right, three parables of demand, I call it, okay? You're about to see the first one. Then you have the three parables of grace in Luke 15, the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. But first, let's look at the first parable, very interesting parable. Okay, "Jesus said to him, 'A certain man gave a great supper and invited many.'" Say, "Great supper". Say, "Invited many".
Now, the word "many" here is the Greek word paloos, keep that word in mind, okay, paloos, paloos, all right. Now, paloos means many, all right, keep that word in mind. We'll come back to it again. Great supper, never has there been such a feast because man did not set out this feast. God set out this feast. God who knows all their undiscovered, tasty, wonderful, foods that will tantalize your taste buds that have yet to be discovered by master chef, or top chef, or all the Ramsey's of the world. God knows that them all, amen? But listen, it's not just talking about physical. It's talking about spiritual spread, a sumptuous spread.
There was never a richer feast than this feast spread by the Lord. And the Lord says, "He sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.'" Come for what, how many things? How many things? "Pastor Prince, is my healing for my back condition included there"? All things. "Pastor Prince, my child is having this challenge at school, is that revealed there"? Yes, come, all things are now ready. "I'm having great challenge in my business, is it there"? It's there, come, all things are now ready.
Now, free doesn't mean cheap. It is free because it's priceless. It is free because somebody paid for the feast and he paid with his blood, his name is Jesus. When he cried "finished" at the cross, it was only one word, in Hebrew, kalah, in Greek, tetelestai, only one word which means all the claims of God's holy law, completely fulfilled. All the claims of God's righteousness upon man, fully met. God's justice, satisfied. Satan, defeated, man liberated. God, glorified, finished. You cannot add to it. "But Pastor Prince, it didn't finish at the cross, it finished at the resurrection". No, the resurrection is the fruit of what was finished because he did a perfect work. God raised him from the dead, amen?
You must remember that the Bible says he didn't rise from the dead and sat down as God's Son, that he always is. The Bible says he sat down having purged our sins, he sat down, Hebrews 1. The reason is given to us why God is able to raise him and set him down, our sins have all been forgiven, totally forgiven, past, present and future, hallelujah. Come, all things are now ready. A richer feast was never spread before man, amen? The Son prepares the feast with his blood. He prepares the feast. There is healing on that table. There is deliverance on that table. There is wisdom on that table. There is favor on that table.
Remember, how Jesus said one time, all right, that healing belongs to the children. It's not right to take the children's bread, remember that? He calls healing children's bread. It's on the table. So, the Lord prepares the feast, he's about to send his servant. "And sent his servant at suppertime," now stop, who is this servant? This servant is mentioned also in Genesis 24 when Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for Isaac.
Now, who is Isaac? God hides truths, hides portraits of his Son in the Scriptures. Two chapters before this, Genesis 22, God says, "Take your son, your only son, the son that you love". But wait a minute, that wasn't his only son. There was also Ishmael. God was referring to his son. God was seeing his son all the time. So, when God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, God says, "Now I know you love me because you have not withheld your son, your only son, the son that you love". Now, we can tell God, "God, I know now you love me because you have not withheld your Son, your only Son, the son that you love," amen? The Bible says Abraham, before he plunged the knife, the angel stopped him and he turned around. I find that very interesting.
When I go to Israel, the temple mount, all right, goes all the way higher up to Mount Calvary. It's literally behind, which means Abraham turned around and saw a vision of Jesus at the cross. His son need not die. That's the real lamb of God. Are you listening? And when Jesus walked on earth, 2,000 years after the event happened on Mount Moriah, Jesus walked on earth and the Pharisees accused Jesus and Jesus says, "Listen guys, Abraham rejoiced to see my day". When? And they looked at Jesus, "You're not yet 50 years old, you have seen Abraham"? He says, "Before Abraham was, I Am".
So, he was the one in that cross that Abraham saw. "Abraham rejoiced to see my day". I believe Abraham had a vision on Mount Moriah. Two chapters after that, the Bible tells us, Abraham in his old age sent his servant, unnamed servant, to find a bride for his son. His son is a picture of Jesus. It became the longest chapter in the Book of Genesis. Why did God spend so much time on this woman, Rebekah? Because she's a type of the bride of Christ, you and I. And the servant was never named, why? Because the Holy Spirit has not come to draw attention to himself. He has come to draw attention to Jesus Christ, the beloved Son. And any ministry that's anointed with the Holy Spirit will point people to Jesus. "He shall glorify me," Jesus said of the Comforter, amen?
Then Jesus, the Bible tells us, Jesus said these words, invite them, "Come for all things are now ready". So, he sent, the Father sent the Holy Spirit, the Son prepared the feast, now the servant is gonna prepare, the Holy Spirit is gonna prepare the guests, all right? Watch this, drop down, "But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.'"
Now listen, a richer feast cannot be put before man than this feast, why? 'Cause God sponsored it. God prepared it. There's no need of man or exigencies that can arise that is not met at this table. Whether it's something for your mind, perpetual peace, freedom from stress, it is on this table. Whether it's deliverance from addiction, it's on this table. You have thought that man who will break down the doors to rush to the table. But you know how blind our hearts can be that when there's a rich feast in front of us, we give excuses not to come. And what stupid excuses, illogical excuses. This man says, "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. Have me excused". Who, Singaporeans, how many of you buy property before you see it? It's a stupid excuse. "I have bought," he already bought, then he goes and see. It's a sorry excuse.
The next one is even worse. "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm going to test them". Let me speak your language. "I have bought me a new BMW, I have bought, past tense, already bought, I'm going to test drive it," all right? They're nothing more than excuses. Is it possible that man can be faced, confronted with the richest spread ever in this universe and still has no desire for the things of God, for the goodness of God? Yes, you know, a child that is fed on candy all the time, even when you bring a result of vanilla truffle with the oil, it's only this season you have it. You put the pasta in front of the boy and you put candy, which one will he go for? Candy. But is it good for him? No. Does he know it's not good? After the number of times a mother tell him, he knows, but what does he want? Candy. Man's heart is so predisposed to sin and evil that when the goodness of God came in all his purity, they nailed him.
Now, don't you ever say, "If I was there, I would not have done that". We would have done the same. We would have given up Jesus who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. We will give him up and one Barabbas to be released, a murderer. That's man. So, Jesus said to the servant, or the father, rather, said to the servant, next verse, "Still another said, 'I have married a wife,'" another excuse, "'therefore I cannot come', So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry'".
What makes the Lord angry today? He's angry when he has so much goodness and you don't even want to take a drop. He has so much healing, and you don't even want to taste it. He has so much love, and you rather look into all the broken systems of human love that cannot satisfy. Makes him angry. When I see this, even his anger encourage me and warms my heart. Angry because he has so much for man and man wants to fend for himself, provide for himself, tend to himself. That's why grace is not well received 'cause man want to do something. Are you listening, people? All right, so, "The master, being angry, said to his servant, the Holy Spirit, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, bring here the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind.'"
So, the first move of God, and we see this in the Book of Acts onwards, all right, is to the streets and the lanes. Streets and lanes are small areas, okay? And it went out to Judea, to Samaria, before it goes to the uttermost part of the earth, amen. So, the Lord says, "Go gather all the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. Bring them all in". Next verse, "And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded,' and still there is room".
You know something? Let me just tell you this, God's grace is always greater than sin. God's supply always over exceeds our need, our demand, always. When God first introduced the Passover to Israel and God said to Israel in Exodus 12, "Take a lamb and if the family is too small for the lamb, share the lamb with your neighbor". It is never the lamb is too small. It is always the family is too small. Their eating power is too small. The lamb is always big. God's supply always exceeds your demands and after you are satisfied, you burp, there's still 12 basketful left over. Hmm, are you listening? So, the Holy Spirit says, brought them all in from the streets and the lanes, "There's still more room".
People ask me the question, how can Jesus die for all men of all time? Friend, if you know the infinite value of that one man, that one man who hung on the tree, if you know the infinite value of that man, all right, you will know he's worth more than any man put together, than all the angels that dawn the sky. I'm telling you, that man is worth more than... there are other planets that need to be saved, he can save them and still have much more left over, hallelujah. This is Jesus and that's why he can die for those in the past, present, and in the future, and much more if there be, amen.
Most of my conferences that I preach in, I only manage to talk about equal ground. I manage to say the first Adam, when he sinned, all right, the first Adam cannot undo his sin by doing right. Are y'all there? All right, we tell sinners, you cannot undo your position as a sinner, your stake as a sinner, by doing right, right? You must be born again. And then Jesus, the last Adam, has come and we tell Christians, "Now you're righteous, but watch it. If you sin, you're unrighteous again".
So, in other words what the first Adam did is more powerful than what the last Adam did because the last Adam can undo his state, whereas the first Adam cannot undo his state as a sinner by doing good. But we, as believers, we can undo our state in one day, something is wrong. The church is not even ready for the much more teachings yet of what the last Adam did because we don't even understand when we put them on equal ground. We honor what the first Adam did more than what the last Adam did. We say that what the first Adam did, made all of us sinners and we cannot undo it by our actions. But what the last Adam did made all of us righteous, but we can undo it in one day. Something's wrong.
Okay, let's go on, praise God. So now, he says, "Still there is room," the Holy Spirit says. "Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.'" Notice the last move of God will be among highways, highways, broadways, and hedges. We are seeing that happen. Hedge, you know what's hedge? A curtain, the iron curtain came down in our generation, wow. Now, the bamboo curtain is coming down. China, the largest populace, is gonna get saved, hallelujah! The Bible tells us the hedges are coming down, bring them all in because there's still room. Mmm, hallelujah.
Notice, "Compel them to come in". Compel them to come in. What is it about us? God spread a sumptuous feast. We cannot be invited. We have to be forced to come. One day in heaven, we look around at the goodness of God, perfect happiness, harmonies of music we've never heard before, never again becoming sick, never again growing old. Death will be no more, in a state of bliss forever. And we look around we say not a single guest here, including myself were merely invited. We were all compelled guests, wow. Compelled is almost like forced. Healing is good, eat it. Now, I don't believe in God compels. It is with disregarding our will, I don't believe God does that. But I believe God compels by making you willing.
One day, one morning, Zacchaeus woke up and he says, "I feel like climbing a tree". And he saw Jesus. That was the compelling of the Holy Spirit. The prodigal son said in the pig, you know, pen and then he looked around and says, "What is happening? What is happening to me? My father's house, there's bread enough and to spare". That was the compelling of the Holy Spirit. God shows you his goodness. It's almost as if no guest in heaven is just merely invited. It's all compelled guests. We get proud we say that, "You know one day, I chose Jesus. I weighed my options and I said, Jesus is the best". No friend, you were compelled. God brought you in. If God didn't make you see, you will never see.
Some people get angry with that, they don't like the sovereign grace of God. They don't like that. You know, one time, Jesus had 70 disciples, all right, but at the end, it thinned down to 12. I'll tell you what happened in John 6, you'll find it. All right, in John 6 Jesus said therefore to all the disciples that were following him, "Therefore, I said to you, that no one can come to me, no one can come to me, unless it has been granted to him by My Father. From that time, many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more". Then Jesus turned to the twelve, the twelve didn't go, okay? Jesus says, "You guys want to go also"? And Peter says, "Where to go"? You have the words of eternal life.
Now question, why did the rest go? Pride. They thought, "I'm following Jesus because I'm making a excellent choice, weighing the options and all that, I choose". No friend, God the Father drew you. The fact that you see and your colleague doesn't, the fact that you are eating the great buffet and others are not, is because God opened your eyes to see. The fact that you're sitting here today, all right, enjoying the honeycomb from God's Word is because God brought you here. God compelled you to eat of the food, mmm. It's all by grace, folks. Okay, let's finish the chapter 14, okay? "That my house may be filled". Okay, then after that, "For I say to you that none of these men who were invited shall taste my supper".
Now, he left the house, great multitudes went with him. Now, these great multitudes, the great there is the same as many, palus. I told you to keep that, right, somewhere, all right? In other words, these are the many he's that were invited. These many, all right, are not many sinners. They are the many scribes, Pharisees, the rich neighbors and all that, and they come after Jesus because let's see him do some miracle. You can come after Jesus for all the wrong reasons. You can come after Jesus as a pattern, as an example, instead of a Savior, all right? Because obviously, these great multitudes is not the same as Luke 15, verse 1. Go back to Luke 15, verse 1, "Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near". Obviously, for them to draw near, they were not among the great multitudes. Are you listening, people?
Now, go back to the great multitudes again. Luke 14, don't forget, these are self-righteous people, all right, and they see Jesus as a pattern. "Teach me what you know, what you did, to produce this cleansing of the leper. I want to go the same". You can actually come to Jesus wanting to learn his ways of success, but not feed on him. How do you treat the Lord Jesus? Do you come to him as a pattern, as an example, or do you come to him as a Savior? And friend, every day we need saving. Every day, we need saving from our lusts, saving from our anger, our bad temperedness, saving from stress, from worry. Every day we need a Savior, but how do you treat the Lord Jesus? Is he just a pattern, an example?
"Pastor Prince, we must have Jesus as an example". Rightly so, but that's not the first calling that God has for you in your relationship with Jesus. It is not as an example, it is as a Savior. All right, does the Bible teach us to follow after God, imitate God? Yes. But let me show you the context. Ephesians 5, please. "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children". The word "imitators," all right, mimetes or from the word the mimos, Greek is where you get your English word mimic, all right? In other words, therefore be mimickers of God as dear children, and dear children here is the word "dear" is not so strong but in the Greek, it is agapetos, as beloved children. It is first used of our Lord Jesus when he came out from the River Jordan the Father says, "You are my agapetos, beloved son".
In other words, those who know they are loved by their father will imitate their father. I repeat, those who know they are loved by fair father will imitate their father. Hey listen, this makes bring up children easy, just watch yourself and make sure you love your children. When children know they are loved, they imitate their father. Sometimes children know they're love, but the father has a bad habit, maybe it's a temper, all right, maybe it's smoking. Trust me, if that child in your life knows he's loved, he will imitate you, even in the negatives. So, the way we mimic God is to know that we are loved, okay? In the amplified translation, "Therefore, be imitators of God, copy Him, follow His example as well-beloved children imitate their father".
So, I all I gotta focus on is make sure that my children feel loved and then I behave because they will mimic me. So, the first thing that God wants you to know every single day in your relationship with Jesus, humble yourself and say, "Lord, today, there's a lot of saving for you to do but that's no problem for you, your name is Savior". All of us drive a car, most of us, but we don't work as a driver, all right? Some of us play basketball, but not all of us are basketballer. Some of us sing and some of us croak, but not all of us are singers, many are croakers, amen? Jesus doesn't just save once a while. He's called Savior because his job is always to save and he saved your face also. That good news for the Chinese, save your face.
Anyway, go back to Luke 14. We bring this to a close. Church, watch this now. Are y'all learning? All right, now, the great multitude that came after him, these are not sinners. The sinners will come later and draw near. It's redundant to say the sinners draw near if they're there already. These were the people, the company that came from the house of the Pharisees and they came after him, all right, with all the different reasons, predominantly self-righteousness. "I can do it, I just have to learn what you did". They're not seeing Jesus as a Savior, they're seeing Jesus as an example.
Look at Jesus's thoughts. Is he comfortable? He turned around, Bible said he turned around. He turned to the multitude and say, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, his own life also, cannot be My disciple". Drop down, "Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Which of you, intending to build a tower," second parable, "does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it"? All right, the next one, "Lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'"?
Now, the third parable. "Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good, if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!'"
Now, I'm not knocking discipleship. I believe there's a place. The word "disciple" in Hebrew, talmidim, all right, means learners. In the Greek, it also means pupil, a learner. The Jewish people love this term "disciples" like, whose disciple are you Gamaliel, Ramban, which disciple are you, Jonathan? Which disciple are you? So, Jesus had his disciples, you understand? Doesn't mean they are saved, but they're all learners. I'm not knocking discipleship, please understand, all right? What I am against is when people exalt the teaching of discipleship above sonship, above grace, all right?
And the context I've just showed you. I took pains to show you the context. It's actually Jesus not comfortable at all in this world of man. Turn around and say, "If you want to see me as a pattern, you want me as an example, do what I did, give up everything. I gave up heaven to come to buy that pearl of great price, that treasure hid in the field. Can you do it"? And we take these whole thing and say, "This is what we must learn to do, count the costs". I'm gonna drop a bombshell here, it's okay?
All right, I'm gonna drop a bombshell right now. The word "disciple" or "discipleship" is never mentioned, never, after the book of Acts. Paul never wrote about it. All the authors of the Epistles of the New Testament, in all the Epistles of the New Testament, you cannot find one word, "disciple". It ended in the Book of Acts. Now, I'm not saying there's no teaching on discipleship. I'm not knocking that. I'm just against those who exalt discipleship above grace, above sonship. Are you with me?
And the context is that he turned around, no one can deny these are hard words, why? "Because if you don't see me as a Savior, you see me as an pattern, you see me as an example, this is it". Just like Israel as a foot of Mount Sinai, "All that God commands us, we can do it. Bring it on". They never even heard the Ten Commandments. Pride, and Jesus says, "If you want me as an example, you come after me as a pattern, you gotta give up everything". Are you with me so far? You can tell that he entered the world of the Pharisee, man's world, and came out and his spirit cannot breathe a comfortable atmosphere. He looks around and he sees all this pride of life. He goes and sees all this self-righteousness around him and he's ill at ease. He's not comfortable but watch this, then, this ends the chapter. Show them both, that last verse of chapter 14 goes right into verse 1 of chapter 15, "Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to hear Jesus".
I tell you something, he walked into the Pharisee's house, he didn't feel at home. He walked out. See all these people, he didn't feel at home. And the moment, the moment, that very moment a sinner laid eyes on Jesus, drew near to him, his whole heart gave it up entirely to the beautiful three parables of grace. Oh, hallelujah. Because why? Sinners make connection with Savior. They're not there to learn, they have given up on themselves. They are there to be saved, hallelujah, and he loves it! I said, he loves it. Every single day, how do you see the Lord, as an example or as a Savior? Like I said, there's still an example but it comes later. Once you experience his love, you can mimic him. Something amazing. Then Jesus's heart just opened up to the sinner and out came all these parables.
Why did he share these parables in the Pharisee's house? They had no heart for it. Why didn't he share this with great multitudes instead of, "Take up your cross, forsake all you have"? Because they were self-righteous. But the moment a sinner comes, draw near to Jesus. They had communion with him as Savior, not teacher. His heart opened up in the most loveliest parables that Jesus ever shared, the three parables. So, we just saw the three parables of demand in Luke 14, now we see the three parables of grace, supply, all right? We won't touch on the last one because of time. It's a very famous one, y'all know that parable. But let's go real quick.
Next verse, all right, "The Pharisees complained, 'This Man receives sinners, eats with them'", Next verse, "So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 'What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I say to you, Jesus says, that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance".
Now, stop for a while and think to yourself, he's talking about one person that repents, brings more joy to heaven, one sinner repents, but how did the lamb repent? The lamb was lost. The shepherd left behind the 99, no shepherd does that. No shepherd leaves 99 to find one, except the true good shepherd. He left, he sought, he went, he found, he gathered, he put it on his shoulders, he rejoiced. He calls his friends, "Rejoice with me". No one does that. It seems like all the shepherd. So, how did the parable end with Jesus saying, "Likewise, there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents"?
How did the lamb repent? I asked the Lord one time 'cause people are saying, "You gotta preach more on repentance, amen. You gotta preach more on repentance". So, I say, "God, give me a parable that can help jerk their self-righteous slacks of them, you know"? So, God gave me this parable. "Ask them, how did the lamb repent"? Then I said, "Lord, I also don't know". Then the Lord says, "This is how the Lord repented, the lamb consented to be loved. The lamb consented to be saved. The lamb agreed to be carried. The lamb consented to rest on his strong shoulders and not carry himself. The lamb rested in his love, that is Bible repentance," amen, amen.
Now listen, do you realize all these three parables, the next one is the woman that lost the piece, all right, of silver. All these parables, listen, it's not about our joy in the matter of our salvation. It's not about us, you know? We are there. It doesn't talk about the lamb, what happened to the lamb after that. Of course, the lamb is happy. Didn't tell us the prodigal son when he came home what he said after that even though he was saved. But all the three parables that Jesus shares is about God's joy and that only, God's joy in recovering you, God's joy this saving you, God's joy in redeeming you. It's all about the finder's joy, not the foundee's, wow. To think what a richer thought never entered the soul of man than this: God's world is made happy by sinners entering into it. Wow, there is joy in heaven. God's world is made happy by sinners entering into that world. God is happy.
You know, we misquote, sometimes we say, "Angels rejoice when the sinner is found". You can't find that in the Bible. It says, there is joy in the presence of angels. You know who's rejoicing? God, the finder. The next verse tells us, all right, "What woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me!'" We don't do that, do we? We find our lost coin say, "Hey, keep to yourself, please". No one does that, uncommon joy of the finder. "Rejoice with me, I have found the piece which I lost". Now watch this, "Likewise I say to you, there is joy in the presence," not angels rejoicing, but joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Who is the one rejoicing? God, wow.
One day when I go to heaven and I sit in heaven and I look at all the joy in heaven, I think to myself, God finding me, God redeeming me, has formed this joy. God is happy. He entered the world of the Pharisee, man's world of self-righteousness, and he wasn't at home. It's almost like he says, "If you cannot find happiness in man's world, come, follow me. Come to my world. If that world disappoints you, this world, I will never disappoint you. I am the one that sought, I am the one that found". If he never sought, he never found, the sheep will still go further. If that woman never sought, she never found, the coin will still be there today.
By the way, the shepherd is the Lord Jesus. The woman is like the Holy Spirit who sweeped the earth to look for the lost image of God that once upon a time man was created in. The Father is God the Father, the father of the two sons, hallelujah, wow. And you know something, church? In heaven, we look around, not one merely invited guest will be there. Everyone compelled to accept grace by God making us willing. Hallelujah, give him praise.
Thank you, Father. Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus. "Love has come down, love has come down, tell it all around, love has come down". Come, come, all things are now ready. The last command of Scripture in the final chapter of the Book of Revelation tells us come, come take the water of life freely. That's the last command of holy Scripture. Take, come and take the water of life freely. Salvation is free, paid for by the blood of Jesus, but free for you. Come, take. Wherever you are right now, you say, "Pastor Prince, pray for me. I want this wonderful Jesus to be my Savior, my Lord. I want to partake of all that he has for me. Once I was blind, but now I see. Pray for me, pastor". If that is you, pray this prayer with me right now.
Heavenly Father, Father God, thank you for calling me home. Thank you, Father, for loving sinners. I'm a sinner. I cannot save myself, but Jesus died in my place. Christ died for sinners. I qualify. He bore my sins. He took my judgment. He suffered my curse that I might be blessed and made righteous. On the third day, you raised him from the dead. Death has been conquered for me. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior now and forever. Teach me, Father, to lean on him, on his strong shoulders of strength and power all the days of my life. Thank you, Father, for filling me with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus's name, amen, and amen, and amen.
Hallelujah. Praise the Lord, amen. This coming week, the Lord bless you and your families. The Lord bless you with the blessings of father Abraham, the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. For Christ has redeemed you, ransomed you from all the curses of the law. There's none left, but blessing for you this week. The Lord make his face shine on you, be favorable to you and your loved ones. May you find yourself at the right place at the right time throughout this week, enjoying the free favors of God, the goodness of your God. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and yours and grant to you and your loved ones his shalom health, peace, and wholeness. In Jesus's name, y'all, and all the people said, amen.