1. On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
He was going – does that mean he was invited?
Why was he invited? In some of the verses sipped is say the Pharisees were watching him closely perhaps he was invite specifically so they could watch him?
Is that a good use of the Sabbath?
Having communal meals was a huge part of the Sabbath, but I am pretty sure that attempting to ensnare someone is not in line with Sabbath practice – but that is last week’s sermon.
7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable.
Jesus is watching them as they are watching him?
8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host;
Seating order was very important in the 1st century Middle East. Everyone’s seat was determined by their “place” in society. These things were strictly adhered to. This required everyone to know their social standing in respect to all the other guests.
It would be pretty presumptuous to go sit in the most honored position before all the guests had arrived.
9 and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.
This would be very embarrassing.
10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at 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 the table with you.
To not take the place you believe you hold would show your humility
What does it mean when people fight over the “last” place in line at the church dinner? Have you ever seen two people try kind of “fight” over taking the “last” place at a Church function? We can only assume they have this passage in mind when they are doing so.
Is this another way of trying to outdo one another, with an act of humility instead a false show of one’s own worth?
11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
What does it look like to be humbled in our society?
How do we try to show our societal value?
12 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.
It was a common curtesy to invite those who had previously hosted you for a meal. When jockeying for social standing there was a balance of inviting the people with the most standing who would then in turn invite you, so you could then be seen with your social “betters” and then be seen as “on par” with them, thus elevating your social standing.
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
Invite people who can’t repay your, or who cannot elevate your social standing. Share a meal out of the goodness of your heart not so that you can gain standing in your community.
14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Living the resurrection life is about giving, not to gain anything, but because God call us to give, to love those around us because God calls us to, not because we can gain anything in return. You cannot live the resurrection life selfishly.