Best Seat in the House
Today’s scripture selection: Luke 13-14
Key Verse: Luke 14:11
Jesus had been invited to dinner, presumably quite a fancy dinner. Luke tells us, “When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable…”
The scripture goes on to describe how Jesus said we should be careful about picking the best seat in the house – assuming we deserve it. Because it might just be we are going to soon find ourselves being asked to move.
But obviously the passage isn’t just about social protocol.
It’s about humility; and charity; and what – and who’s – really important in the kingdom of God.
Turns out it’s the humble and the meek and those with a servant’s attitude that are really worthy of honor.
Kingdom living – at least in God’s kingdom – is about putting others first. Not in some subservient, self-loathing way. That’s not Christianity – it’s masochism.
Rather, we are called; invited really – to realize that it is an honor to care for others just as God took upon himself a sacrificial role.
There’s not much room at God’s table for someone who thinks he or she is better than everyone else. At best, God will show that poor soul to the worst seat where he or she can learn a little humility.
But there’s plenty of room for the one who welcomes others; shows them the best and most honored seat; makes sure they are comfortable and feeling welcome. That’s the seating order as God would have it. And it especially pleases God when we don’t wait for Him to tell us what it is.
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
I don’t suppose the Pharisees at dinner that night appreciated Jesus’ little sermonette.
But the poor, and the hungry, and the disenfranchised of the world sure did.
Prayer: Lord, teach me humility, and service, in your name. AMEN.