SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jesus is invited to the house of an important religious leader. He proceeds to, once again, break the accepted laws and traditions of such leaders. First, he heals a crippled man on the Sabbath (which would have been prohibited by their laws prohibiting "work" on the Sabbath). Second, when he notices guests vying for the best seat at the table, he quickly uses the opportunity to discuss the importance of humility over honor.
- Jesus then tells a parable, a story with a spiritual point, about a man who hosts a lavish party. When wealthy invitees fail toe how up, the man instead invites the sick and the poor.
- Jesus was surrounded by large crowds of people everywhere he traveled. He knew that they were mesmerized by his healing, teaching, and feeding people. They thought they could get something for nothing. However, Jesus stops and tells them this is not so. Anyone that truly follows him must be willing to hate their family members or themselves. This is a metaphor; the Bible is very clear that we are to love everyone. His point is that God should be such a high priority in our lives that it almost looks like we hate everything else.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to show mercy and love to everyone, not just those in prestigious places.
- We need to act in humility and service to all.
- Jesus invites all of us into his great banquet. Some will reject and other's will accept. But, we are all given a chance to enter.
- God loves us no matter what and offers us grace, but that does not mean there isn't a cost for following him. Jesus makes it clear that we must be willing to sacrifice anything and give up everything to be his disciples. Anything or anyone that comes before God is an idol.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- How can you show mercy and love to someone this week who may not deserve it?
- Is there a way that you can serve God that you have been avoiding? Be humble and accept the job that he has asked you to do.
- Do you love God more than anything or anyone? Are you willing to do or give up everything for Jesus? That is the cost of being a Christian. But it's a cost that is totally worth it, because God is worth everything, and gives us everything we really need. Don't settle for anything less than "all in" when it comes to following Jesus.