Luke 14:1, 7-14
14:1 On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
14:7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable.
14:8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host;
14:9 and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.
14:10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you.
14:11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
14:12 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.
14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Jesus often spoke in parables as means to drive home a deep and profound lesson, this case humility and selflessness. Many people are often occupied with wanting to be the spot light and get ahead in life. There are many lessons that this passage teaches us about humility and here are a few that I hope and pray will bring encouragement to your lives:
- Humility is to be done quietly: in verses 8-9 Christ talks about one who is placing themselves in a position in which they will be noticed. Christ warns against doing so because in the end it might bring you the wrong kind of attention. The opposite of drawing attention to yourself is to place yourself in a position in which you are not elevating yourself and at the same time not calling for people to notice. Humility does not seek to draw the praise of man, it is to be done to Glorify God and to teach us to place others before ourselves.
- Humility is an act of service to others: in verses 10-11 Christ speaks on the importance of reaching out to others who are in need. He paints the picture of this impressive feast that is displayed and instead of inviting the rich and the popular, you invite those who are in great need. This speaks to understanding another’s need and using your God-given resources to reach out to them.
- Humility is not done out of a selfish gain: in verses 12-14 we see how Christ takes the point of reaching out the needy one step further. He speaks on having a pure and selfless motive behind showing love to others. There is no expectation that you will be repaid for your act of kindness. This is something that you are doing out of a love for God and as an outflow you are showing that same love towards others. No act of kindness should ever be extended with the expectation of gaining something in return. It is to be pure, selfless and full of love.
He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
Jesus is concerned with the condition of our hearts. We aught not to do things with the expectation of gain for ourselves. We aught to do things with a generous heart and a God-given love. For whoever wants to be first in the Kingdom will be last and whoever is last will be first.
As Christians following Christ we have to remember that we have to die to our own selves. It is no longer we who lives but Christ in us. If we are to gain an everlasting prize the only way is to humble ourselves and serve the gospel and love even our enemies.
[Featured image from calvarycc.org]