Where will you sit?-26th August 2022

Oasis Global

United Methodist Mission

´╗┐DEVOTION & NEWSLETTER

Friday, August 26th, 2022

   WHERE WILL YOU SIT?

 

                  Luke 14:7-14

 

The Jesus of Luke’s gospel has a strong interest in eating. There are more references to eating, banquets, and being at table in Luke than in any other gospel. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like reading Luke so much. Here we find Jesus at table with a large group of people, following each of his habits, Jesus is teaching while everyone eats. Jesus isn’t particularly interested in the food being served. What he’s really interested in is the people at the table. He was explaining, how different the rules are in the Kingdom of God. To understand just how radical this teaching was, the people gathered at that Pharisee’s table, we need to remember the social system that was in place at the time.

         Jesus has a different idea on the way things ought to work. By now, we should be familiar with Luke’s focus on turning expectations upside down. As Jesus watched the guests at this Pharisee’s house jockeying for good positions at the table, he saw a double teaching opportunity, and he grabbed it. First, he addressed the guests then He reminded them about the advice found in Proverbs: “Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great; for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.” Second, while this was practical social advice for his listeners, it carried with it a reminder that the people present at the table belonged to God, not Rome. Jesus was reinforcing their identity as children of Israel, an identity that had eroded as Roman customs and attitudes had been adopted over time. The Roman practice of self-promotion did not fit well with the prophets of old, who had encouraged “walking humbly with your God. Treating others, such as the poor, the sick, the blind, the crippled in spirit, as if they were our equals still places barriers between “us” and “them.”

         Treating others as equals is only the first step towards becoming equal as joint-heirs in the family of God. And this is what Jesus came to accomplish. Jesus came to level the playing field between the haves and the have nots, between the wealthy and the poor, between the healthy and the sick. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us need grace. Jesus wants us to understand that our all-too-human drive to seek the best seat in the house does not show genuine participation in God’s mercy or love. Even treating others as if they were our equals is not enough. Only true humility can give us the right perspective.

    Think about it. How often do we draw attention to what we are doing for God, in an attempt to justify ourselves? This is the same thing as taking a “better seat” at the table. We do not need to justify ourselves before God, he has already justified us through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.

 

 

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