Everyone can recall what it was like to be in junior high P.E. and endure the agony of picking teams. You always knew who would be picked first, and you could watch as his chest puffed up and he strutted to the chosen team. Other kids seemed happy just to be chosen and were at ease with either team. Finally, there was the kid chosen last, who crossed to his team with head and eyes cast down.
- Where in your life have you been chosen, and when have you been glad just to be on the team?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 14:7-11 (ESV)
7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Jesus was at a dinner party at the home of a leader of the Pharisees (Luke 14:1). What did Jesus notice about the guests at the party that prompted him to tell a parable?
- Describe Jesus’ story in your own words. Can you think of a modern-day equivalent where people jockey for position?
- What was Jesus’ point? What attitude was Jesus suggesting that we adopt?
- In what ways do you, or are you tempted to, exalt yourself? In what ways can you humble yourself today? Be as specific as you can.
RESPOND TO GOD
The Pharisees believed that being the chosen people of God gave them favored position in the Kingdom. It was only right that they took the best seats at the wedding feast—an image for the party God will throw at the end of the age. Jesus exhorted them, and us, to a humility that is rooted in the incredible privilege of being chosen by God. If you have ever been amazed that God can forgive a person like you, there’s a place for you at the table.
- Confess to God where you are tempted to exalt yourself. Ask for forgiveness if prompted.
- Praise God that you have been invited to be a child of God even though you didn’t deserve it.