15 When one of those at the meal with Jesus heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will feast in the kingdom of God!” 16 But Jesus said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time for the banquet he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ 18 But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going out to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 Then the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ 23 So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be filled. 24 For I tell you, not one of those individuals who were invited will taste my banquet!’”
He used to say: everything is given against a pledge, and a net is spread out over all the living; the store is open and the storekeeper allows credit, but the ledger is open and the hand writes, and whoever wishes to borrow may come and borrow; but the collectors go round regularly every day and exact dues from man, either with his consent or without his consent, and they have that on which they [can] rely [in their claims], seeing that the judgment is a righteous judgment, and everything is prepared for the banquet.
R. Elazar b. Azaryah says: If there is no Torah, there is no derech eretz. [(He does not get on well with people)]; if there is no derech eretz, there is no Torah. [(It will eventually be forgotten.)] If there is no wisdom, there is no fear; if there is no fear, there is no wisdom. If there is no understanding, [understanding one thing from another (but not giving a reason for it)], there is no knowledge [i.e., giving a reason for the thing]; if there is no knowledge, there is no understanding. [If he cannot give a reason for the thing, it is as if he does not know it; but, in any event, understanding comes first, wherefore "if there is no understanding, there is no knowledge."] If there is no flour, there is no Torah. [If one has nothing to eat, how can he study Torah?] If there is no Torah, there is no flour. [What will his flour avail him? Since he has no Torah, it would be better if he had no flour and died of hunger!] He was wont to say: One whose wisdom is more than his deeds — to what may he be compared? To a tree whose branches are many and its roots few. The wind comes and uproots it and turns it over on its face, as it is written: "And he [the man who trusts in men] will be like a tamarisk in the desert and he will not see when goodness comes. It dwells in parched lands in the wilderness, in a salty, uninhabited land." But one whose deeds are more than his wisdom — to what may he be compared? To a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many. Even if all the winds in the world come and blow against it, they cannot move it from its place, as it is written: "He [the man who trusts in G-d] will be like a tree planted near water, which spreads out its roots along a brook and does not see when the heat comes, whose foliage is always fresh. It will not worry in a year of drought and will not stop producing fruit."