Luke 14:1, 7-14
Have you made your dinner plans? Abraham was sitting by his tent when two strangers walked by. Abraham invited them to dinner. They ate dinner and told Abraham the news that he and Sarah would have children.
Have you made your dinner plans? Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors. He also at with the Pharisees!
Have you made your dinner plans? When Jesus returns there is going to be a big feast. It is going to be called the marriage supper of the Lamb. In Revelation 19 we read who about who is invited.
We cannot exactly get out of having meal with other people. After all, we have to eat! We make dinner plans and enjoy the scrumptious meals that we fix. We talk about the tender meat, the creamy potatoes, and the moist cake. Then there is the lemonade that we make.
When we are invited over to dinner, we are so glad to sit near our host. For then we can chat about the weather, our kids, and our grandkids. But what if other people are there at the dinner? Where are we to sit? I think Jesus’ instructions on where to sit and who to invite for dinner can still help us today.
A. Where is Jesus? (14:1)
1. Jesus gets invited to a Sabbath meal at a Pharisee’s house (It’s a trap!)
2. The other dinner guests were watching Jesus
3. So, Jesus healed a man who had dropsy!
4. Jesus has already healed a woman on a Sabbath. Now, he heals a man on the Sabbath. Both times he refutes those who complain about his work. Jesus doesn’t stop there. As the meal continues, he notices how the other guests had chosen their places at the table. As we look at the scene, we realize Jesus wasn’t only talking about proper table manners. Jesus helps us figure out how we think about ourselves.
B. Where are we to sit when we are invited to a wedding banquet? (14:7-11)
1. The people were sitting as close to the host as they could
2. Some had to be asked to go to another place!
3. When we are invited to such a banquet, we let the host seat us
4. Let the host give us the honor of where to sit
5. I think this entails more than just a wedding banquet!
6. “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
a. If we take the farthest spot from the host, are we doing that so we can be made to move closer? – is it a way of feigning humbleness?
b. If we take the farthest spot from the host, will we be satisfied with that spot, especially if we are not moved closer to the host?
7. I’m glad Maria is my wife. She keeps me humble. When I begin to brag about myself, she has a way of making sure I don’t get too big for my britches. I realize that I am not any better than anyone else. I cannot demand a better spot, closer to the host. But if the host moves me closer, then that is alright. If the host leaves me where I am, then that is alright. For it is in these social situations that we discover who we are. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather humble myself than have someone humble me! But humbleness also leads us to see another side of life, how we can be hospitable to others.
C. Who are we to invite to a dinner at our place? (14:12-14)
1. Our family and friends do pay us back after we have them over for dinner
2. The poor, the crippled, the lame, & the blind cannot repay us with a dinner invitation
3. Why would we invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, & the blind to dinner?
4. For our sins made us poor, crippled, lame, and blind, yet Jesus invites us to his table! That is the Lord’s Table – Holy Communion – the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9)
5. If we can wait to get repaid, then we invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind to dinner
6. We eat with them – the poor, the crippled, the lame, & the blind are humans
7. The resurrection of the righteous (Daniel 12:1-3)
a. Jesus rose from the grave by the power of God
b. We will rise from the grave by the power of God
c. Some will go onto eternal contempt
d. Other will go onto spend time with Jesus – what a reward for living our faith!
8. Can we wait to be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous? If we cannot wait to be repaid, then I guess we keep on inviting our friends and family to dinner. Then they keep on inviting us to dinner at their place. I have to work on this idea myself. This idea of inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind hits me. I have not done this sort of inviting for any dinner. I have helped at a soup kitchen. I have delivered food to the poor at Christmas time. But I have not invited any poor, crippled, lame, or blind neighbors to eat with me. I can only imagine the things I will learn, the people I would get to know, and the joy of dining with someone new.
Go ahead and invite the poor neighbors to dinner. Go ahead and bring the crippled right up to your supper table. Make a way for the lame to dine with you. Clear a spot for the blind to feast with you. I am going to find a way to get this done in my life. How about you?
Are we learning to place others before ourselves? Are we learning to live our faith? For when we humbly invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, then our faith in God lives. Then at the resurrection of the righteous we may receive an invitation to sit at the marriage feast of the Lamb.
Consider today whom you are going to invite to dinner. Go ahead and invite that neighbor.
Of course, if we are already having our poor, our crippled, our lame, and our blind neighbors over for dinner, then carry on! God will repay you at the resurrection of the righteous!