7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
How courageous is Jesus here? He is invited into a prominent Pharisee’s home, in the company of the “important” people of His community, and he has the audacity to address their proud and self-centred behaviour using two very pointed parables.
What could be his motivation here? Certainly not to make himself popular and well-liked (a motivation that, I must confess, is one that I have operated under many times).
It seems that Jesus felt passionate about humility and about showing kindness to those who cannot repay it. So passionate in fact, that He was willing to risk upsetting people that others would be trying to impress.
God, help me to regularly check my motivations to make sure that truth & love are trumping my natural desire to impress others. This is an ongoing battle, but I am inspired by Jesus’ passion for the truth.
Written by Shelley Witt