What I read: Luke 14
Observations: I was noticing today the way that food and parties seem to play such a significant role in the life of Jesus. In fact, last night I saw a tweet to the effect that in Luke Jesus is always on his way to a party, from a party, or talking about a party. In this case at the party with the Pharisee sets the stage for Jesus to once again heal on the Sabbath, but also to talk about the kingdom of God in terms of a party. The essence of the parable to me is that Jesus is saying all the people that were expected to be invited declined the invitation, but all the people who were not supposed to be invited were not only being invited, but they were accepting the invitation to the great surprise of the “right” people. This will keep playing itself out in the next chapter as well.
Application: Jesus’ observation on how they chose the seats at the table struck me today, as did his final statement: everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted. The problem for me is that I’m used to being the person in charge, a leader, the person that other people look to, so I tend to take that seat at the table so to speak. I’m not sure what it would look like as a husband, father, and pastor to consistently take the lower seat at the table but that’s what I need to find a way to do.
Prayer: Father my prayer today is that you would humble me. Let me see again that no matter what my position is with other people, who I am really flows from my relationship with you, and in that relationship I am clearly NOT the leader – you are. Let me treat others with greater gentleness and be more willing to make room for others and their gifts and their voices than I am to make myself seen or heard. I pray that you would make me into a truly humble man – a person who doesn’t have the need to be at the center of attention, but who is content to be seated last and lowest so that others can be honored above me. That’s a hard prayer for me to pray, but it’s one that I deeply need today.