Lift yourself up (honor) OR lift others up?
This VS. That
Honor VS. Humility
Payback VS. No Return
Invitation VS. Exclusion
Jesus pushing forward to cross….. H U G E ETERNAL IMPACTING ACTION
STILL Taking time to teach people how to live. D A I L Y
Story ( continual ) of people doing EVERYTHING backwards….
WHO or WHAT is at the center of every turn here?
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was PREPARING a great banquet and INVITED many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent.
So taking hold of the man,
he healed him and sent him on his way.
SEEKING HONOR FOR…..?
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not
invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The Parable of the Great Banquet
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.
24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
In Luke 14, Jesus is less interested in the actual food than in the composition of the banquet. So, he tells a story about meals and honor. It’s an unusual “parable” in light of its clear references. His story emphasizes two components of the banquet setting: (1) the selection of “seats” (honor?); and, (2) the invitation list. In an honor and shame culture, avoiding shame is of the utmost importance. This is not simply embarrassment. Public shame may have tangible implications for the shamed. A family’s bartering practices or marriage proposals can be negatively affected by a public shaming, if the shame is significant enough.
On the opposite end, public honor — determined, in this story, by the host — may come to those who express public humility. Jesus expresses expectations for hosts (cf. 14:12-14). His words are a challenge to the honor system embedded in first-century culture. To secure one’s place in this system, it was appropriate to invite friends, family, and rich neighbors. Reciprocal requests would ensue, as the public acknowledgement of an honorable person may bring its own rewards.
But Jesus calls into question this type of caste system, imagining instead hosts who choose to associate with people who are “poor, crippled, lame, and blind” (14:13) as their new network. The problem for hosts, however, as Jesus explicitly recognizes, is that no honor is forthcoming in return. Rather, it’s an investment in the future.
“One does not live by bread alone,” as Jesus argues in the temptation scene (4:4). Nor is Jesus only concerned about what happens at meals. His teaching is about the way we treat others, especially those among us who unable to “pay us back.” In a modern democratic society in which public political rhetoric emphasizes that all are (created) equal, it is easy to miss the emphasis of Jesus’ teaching in his own status-oriented, honor-shame and hierarchical space.