We’re continuing through the book of Luke. Jesus is at a banquet in His honor, but the Pharisees are watching closely to find something with which they can accuse Him. The Lord takes the opportunity to teach them some valuable lessons.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
Luke 14:7 NIV
There’s one thing I’ve noticed about us as human beings. We’re so self-absorbed sometimes. We don’t stop and think about who’s around us. Jesus tells us to step back and use some restraint.
“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. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 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 your fellow guests.”
Luke 14:8-10 NIV
When we have a self-important attitude, it blinds us to everything going on around us. I’d like to think that there’s no one more important than me. But, that’s foolishness, plain and simple.
It’s not about what I think of myself. It’s about how God and others see me. I need to take the blinders off, and walk in humility.
Remember, humility is not about putting myself down. It’s exalting others above my own interests. Allowing others to be blessed is walking in true humility.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14:11 NIV
This is the guiding principle. Where do you want your praise to come from? Self-exaltation is worthless. But, when God exalts you, then He gets the glory from your life. It puts you in a much better position.
However, pride is not only seen in your struggle for a popular position.
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Luke 14:12-14 NIV
Sometimes our pride can be seen in how we brag about the people we know. Dropping a well-known name here and there might impress some people. It can be seen in who you invite to your get-togethers.
According to Christ, if that’s your motivation, then you’ll have no future reward. Jesus advises us to lay up treasure in Heaven. We do so by showing kindness and humility, inviting those who cannot repay us.
Jesus makes it clear that at the resurrection of the righteous there’s going to be rewards. He’s just as clear that our rewards will be based upon how well we follow His precepts.
Knowing this, we should be constantly aware of our attitudes. Our desire should be to please the King and to be found faithful at His return. Who are you trying to please? Are you trying to become a legend in your own mind?
Maybe you’re trying to impress the world with your greatness. Instead, we should we trying to live like Jesus did. It’s time for us to wake up and become “God-pleasers” instead of “man-pleasers.”
Allow the Holy Spirit to test your attitudes. Go before Him and let Him speak to you and change you, if necessary. We need to be walking in the true humility of the Lord. That’s how we’re exalted in His kingdom.
Question: What’s your attitude toward yourself and others?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi