Scripture reading for April 11th: Luke 14:7-35
Jesus was eating at the house of a prominent Pharisee and they were watching Him very carefully. Jesus was also watching them! He noticed how they all tried to pick places of honor at the table. He used this setting to teach them humility and warned them not to try and take the place of honor, but to take the lowest place. Then the host could place them where he wanted. This would be less humiliating than the host removing them from their seat of honor. Jesus put it simply: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:7-11)
Jesus also told the host, this prominent Pharisee, that when he had a banquet he should invite the poor, crippled, blind, and lame. This would bring blessing to his house, because God would repay him at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:12-15) This evoked a response from one at the table,”Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus answered this man with another story about a certain man who was preparing a great banquet and had invited many guests. When the appointed time for this banquet came, the servant was sent out to remind the invited guests of the feast. All the invited guests had excuses! One bought a field and must go see it. Another just purchased some new oxen to work his field and must try them out. Still another had recently married and must be with his wife. This angered the host of this banquet, and he ordered his servant to go out into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, crippled, blind and lame. He wanted his house to be full, but none of the invited guests who made excuses would have a place at his table! (Luke 14:21-24)
As we ponder this teaching of Jesus, we sense that the “certain man” is God! He invited the Jews to His banquet first, but many made excuses! These would be shut out, and God’s servants would be sent to the Gentiles! God’s house would be filled! The humble pay attention and respond to God’s invitation while the proud are left out. Remember, the lowest seat at His table is far better than being left out! Don’t make excuses!