Speak, Lord, in the stillness, as I spend time in Your Word. Help me to hear You.
Read Luke 14:1–11
Jesus at a Pharisee’s House
14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
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.”
a Luke 14:5 Some manuscripts donkey
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does the entitlement mentality show up in your life?
The setting is the dinner table – but there’s a set-up! A random man who is obviously ill (2) is planted right in front of Jesus – but he’s not a guest, because after he’s been healed he is sent away (4). There’s a sense of déjà vu; it’s not the first time Jesus has been questioned about healing on the Sabbath (1).
And as before, Jesus heals the person, and then tells more parables about the kingdom of God. There is an underlying theme of pride – the silence of the religious leaders (4, 6) highlights their inflexibility. They are too proud to admit that they might be wrong.
Jesus then tells three stories, all based around feasting. The first one, in today’s reading (7–11), focuses on humility. To whom is this story told (7)? Some self-important people have a great sense of entitlement, and maybe that spills over into how they feel about their place in the kingdom. The door to God’s presence is narrow, as we saw in the previous chapter (13:24), and humility is another of the key elements for entering. The assumption that one automatically qualifies is in fact a disqualifier!
As you examine your heart attitudes, might there be a need to ask the Lord for a spirit of humility? For pride to be banished or a sense of entitlement to be overcome?
Christ, may I become less and less so that You can become greater and greater in my life (John 3:30).
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