Q. I have been struck by Luke 14:12-14, where Jesus speaks to the host of the dinner. What is your understanding of it? There are three dinner references in this chapter. Are they all parables or just the third one?
A. A parable is a story designed to convey a heavenly truth through a fictional earthly story. There are three references to a banquet in Luke 14. The first, in verses 7-11, was intended to teach the guests about humility. The second, verses 12-14, was a direct instruction to the host. Only the third was a parable, because by starting with the phrase “a certain man” Jesus indicated He was describing a hypothetical situation.
The lesson of Luke 14:12-14 is that when you give to people who can repay you, as soon as they do you’re even. When you give to people who can’t, God takes note and promises to repay you Himself, in the resurrection. This is one of the ways we store up treasure in Heaven.