“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 14:13-14 (NIV)
Jesus is at a banquet and He is bringing up issues where He sees people get confused. Is it human nature to want to be seated in a seat of honor? Is it just like us to want to be recognized and appreciated by others? Yet here while Jesus observes the way we all seek this attention, does He take the opportunity to teach us? Does He give us some sound advice on how to approach finding our place of importance? Does He point out to us that it is better to take a more humble disposition? Will it be more commendable for us in the end to be promoted instead of humiliated because of our proud self-assertion? Can we say that this is not our usual chosen manner, but sound advice nonetheless? However correct this teaching is, do Jesus´ teachings normally have a deeper meaning? Although He uses familiar words and understandable scenarios, does He normally have a higher agenda?
When Jesus speaks of banquets and invited guests, where is He usually directing our thoughts? Is He trying to teach us how to act when we have these social functions here on earth? Or is He forever drawing our attention to a great future event where the parameters are infinitely of grander scale? Does He love to make us look forward to a Heavenly reunion where we are the guests at God´s banquet party? Should we think that the Saviour could be doing that same thing here? Are we going to make His teachings instruct us on an earthly level alone? Or are we going to let them bring us before the throne of God?
Is it possible That Jesus is leading us into a productive state of heart? Could His instruction guide us into a Way of being? Might He be teaching us how to handle ourselves in the eyes of God? Far more important than how we act in front of our brothers and sisters; could Jesus be offering us a manner of walking before the Presence of the Divine? If we were to let His teaching sink in deep enough to affect us, could we learn an important lesson of soul? If we could learn to be humble in the eyes of the Lord, would we stand to receive promotion? If we puff ourselves up before Him with our own self-righteousness or what we think we deserve, might we stand to suffer painful embarrassment someday? Would it be just like Jesus to attempt to lift our eyes to what is happening on a Heavenly and galactic scale? Is it His customary Way to bring us directly into contact with God above? Is that what He is doing now?
Could it be time for us to take a look at ourselves? Are we feeling like our seat at His table is something sure and important? Where do we place ourselves? Have we got a seat before others? Or are we accepting a lower opinion of ourselves? Are we purposefully humbling ourselves so that it is our God that can lift us to the seat of honor He would give? Or are we trying to make that decision for Him? Does Jesus´ instruction lead us or accuse us? Are we even listening to it? How cleverly are we seeking our repayment now?
Dear Jesus, please let Your words sink in. Show us Your intended meanings for them. What is it You would have us know? How would You have us be, as we walk through this world? How much importance should we place on our dealings before men? How much more should we be concerned about how we are acting before the Lord? Please teach us today? Do not let us miss Your point? How are we going about assuring our repayment one day? Are we listening to Your sound advice? Open our eyes and ears we pray! Then lead us forward into favor in sight of God today!