Luke 14:7 ¶ Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,
Luke 14:8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,
Luke 14:9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.
Luke 14:10 But when you are invited, go and sit in 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 table with you.
Luke 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14:12 ¶ He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.
Luke 14:13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
Luke 14:14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Demanding our rights runs deep. It’s almost like we think they are inalienable or something. That word, ‘inalienable’ means that they can’t be taken or given away. They are yours.
But that’s not how Jesus is operating in this section. Jesus is teaching us to give away our honor freely.
If you volunteer in the children’s rooms, you’ll experience this first hand. “Me first!” says the kid that is too immature to consider others in the room. “I want that one,” says the kid grabbing the biggest slice of cake.
We see this in kids and we (hopefully) teach them to act differently. We would benefit to see the more mature versions in ourselves.
Since that is difficult to do, take the offensive. Jesus says to give away your honor to others. Give it freely. Give it to people that can’t honor you back or thank you or put your name on a plaque.
Instead of one-upping others, how can you race to the bottom, to be the servant of all, by one-downing one another? If what Jesus said is true, then the greatest among us will be like a servant.
Servants don’t demand honor, respect, rights, or attention.
The promised reward is tremendous. “Repaid at the resurrection of the just!?” Think that through for a minute. If doing what Jesus says here is actually an easier way of life than keeping up with the Joneses; If doing what Jesus says here is actually fun because people feel honored and loved when ever they are around you; If doing what Jesus says here is actually the very way that God acts because He deserves all glory and attention but He gave His own life to exalt us…
Then let’s make it our lifestyle to humble ourselves. In our work, in our politics, in our playtime, in our leisure, and in our entire life.