Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “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, 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. 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. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11
In today’s verses Jesus tells those gathered at the table of one of the leaders of the Pharisees a story. Noticing how they chooses seats in order to bring honor on their selves he had a warning for them. During Jesus ministry the Pharisees were all about heaping honor on their selves. Today’s verses are not the first time Jesus warned them about seeking earthly glory.
In Jewish society of the first century the closer to the host you sat the more honored you were. In the Pharisee mind they were already top of society and deserved to be seated at the seat of honor. Just imaging a room full of Pharisees each scrambling to take the best seat at table. I imagine Jesus saw this mad dash and probable felt amused and a bit sad. Here were the leaders of God’s people and all they cared about was earthly glory.
So Jesus warned them that when you take the seat of honor you may well find that someone more worthy will show up and the host will ask you to move. By this time the only seat would be at the foot of the table, the least favorable seat. But, Jesus says if instead you choose the lowest seat then the host will come to you and move you to a more favorable seat.
These Jews being God’s people felt they deserved the most favorable place in God’s table. However once they missed seeing Jesus as the Messiah they risked losing their favored position to someone else. Jesus asked them to be humble. It is in this humility that one will be exalted. Once we humble ourselves to God and admit that we are not capable of coming into His presence on our own and accept Jesus then we will be exalted and be called sons and daughters of God.
Have a blessed day,