Did you ever sit through a class (or a sermon) and realize that you didn’t pay attention? For whatever reason, you simply missed the point . . . or you chose to ignore it. Good teachers know that successful lessons will create what is called an “enduring understanding” in their students. The lesson will stay with them not only for the test but also for a lifetime. Luke 14 describes Jesus’ visit at the house of a prominent Pharisee. After Jesus healed a man with a noticeable ailment, the Pharisees showed no response (v. 4). They did not rejoice over the miraculous healing. They did not fall on their faces in worshipful reaction to this miracle.
What had happened? Were they asleep during the lesson? Were they jealous? Apathetic? Offended that He had healed on the Sabbath? Jesus then took advantage of a second opportunity to continue His lesson (vv. 7–11). Noticing that the guests had picked prominent spots at the table, He taught them a lesson intended to show them that one’s position before God depends upon God’s grace, not personal ambition. “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (v. 11).
Through parable, Christ challenged the assumption of the Pharisees that their place in God’s kingdom was a certainty. Those who rejected Christ also refused God’s invitation. Others would be invited in their place. The enduring understanding for us is to turn our tendency for self-exultation into humble action. Jesus says, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” (v. 35). Are you listening to His message?
>> Jesus has made a place for you at His table. He offers salvation as a free gift. How will you respond to His invitation?
Let’s pray we will learn and always remember the lessons of humility from today’s Scripture. Thank the Lord for His vivid teaching through His parables that astonished listeners and changed hearts.