Luke 7:36

ESV One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
NIV When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.
NASB Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to eat with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
CSB Then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.
NLT One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.
KJV And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.

What does Luke 7:36 mean?

In this passage, Luke provides a practical application of Jesus' dissertation on John the Baptist (Luke 7:24–28). This comes in the form of faithful, loving, culturally scandalous actions of a repentant woman. It hinges on her reputation for sin and the dismissive, vague judgmentalism of a Pharisee. Jesus told a crowd that the tax collectors and sinners who accepted John's call for repentance are more pleasing to God than the Pharisees and scribes who refused (Luke 7:29–34). This event provides a real-life example.

Luke does not name the city where the Pharisee lives. However, the term "of the city" (Luke 7:37) fits with the description of "a town called Nain" (Luke 7:11). It's possible the Pharisee invites Jesus to a banquet because He raised a dead man (Luke 7:14–15). However, news of that miracle spread "through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country" (Luke 7:17), so this isn't proof they're in Nain.

We know this is a banquet because Jesus reclines at the table. At family meals, people would sit; at more formal affairs, they would stretch out, resting their head on the left arm and eating with their right hand with their feet away from the table. Guests would eat and sometimes engage in philosophical discussions. Local people were welcome to enter through the open door, stand against the walls, and quietly listen.

Jesus has no problem accepting the invitations of Pharisees, but they quickly realize Jesus' status as a guest does not mean He will be subservient to the hosts. In Luke 11:37–54, a Pharisee verbally corrects Jesus for not washing His hands. Jesus responds with His own rebuke of the Pharisees' and scribes' abusive legalism. In Luke 14:1–6, Jesus dines at the home of a ruler of the Pharisees on the Sabbath and sees a man in need of healing. While healing the man, Jesus points out they would do no less for an ox.

Earlier, Jesus dined with the tax collector Matthew. The Pharisees criticized Him for eating with cultural outcasts and offenders. Yet Jesus dismissed them by saying, "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:29–32). Ironically, even when Jesus is reclining at the home of a Pharisee, a sinner finds Him (Luke 7:37). The Pharisee should not be surprised when the "sick" find the "Physician" (Luke 5:31).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: