Luke 14:1, 7-14 (NRSV)
Read Luke 14:1, 7-14 on biblegateway.com
Chapter 14On 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.
Verse 7When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. Verse 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; Verse 9and 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. Verse 10But 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. Verse 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Verse 12He 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. Verse 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Verse 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Many of us would agree with the title of a Mac Davis song: “O Lord, It’s Hard To Be Humble.” When was the last time that a professional football player after scoring a touchdown, simply handed the ball back to the referee and went quietly to the bench? As human beings we have a drive and a desire to be seen, to receive credit, to be lifted up. Could it be that this drive and desire grow from the fear that we are not what we should be? Therefore, we feel compelled to strive to lift ourselves to a position where we think we are truly someone.
In Jesus Christ, we are a child of God, a disciple. Is there any higher calling? Is there any higher crown of glory? Can we then forsake the quest to make ourselves to be somebody? Can we dare to simply live as what we have been made to be in Jesus Christ?
Jesus, teach us to forsake our ways, to humble ourselves, to kneel at your feet, and to live out your way of compassion. Amen.