Summary: A study on a prideful attitude
LUKE 14:7-14 "AND HE PUT FORTH A PARABLE TO THOSE WHICH WERE BIDDEN, WHEN HE MARKED HOW THEY CHOSE OUT THE CHIEF ROOMS; SAYING UNTO THEM, 8’WHEN YOU ARE BIDDEN OF ANY MAN TO A WEDDING, SIT NOT DOWN IN THE HIGHEST ROOM; LEST A MORE HONORABLE MAN THAN YOU BE BIDDEN OF HIM. 9AND HE THAT BADE YOU AND HIM COME AND SAY TO YOU, GIVE THIS MAN PLACE; AND YOU BEGIN WITH SHAME TO TAKE THE LOWEST ROOM. 10BUT WHEN YOU ART BIDDEN, GO AND SIT DOWN IN THE LOWEST ROOM; THAT WHEN HE THAT BADE YOU COMES, HE MAY SAY UNTO YOU, FRIEND, GO UP HIGHER: THEN SHALL YOU HAVE WORSHIP IN THE PRESENCE OF THEM THAT SIT AT MEAT WITH YOU. 11FOR WHOSOEVER EXALTS HIMSELF SHALL BE ABASED; AND HE THAT HUMBLES HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED. 12THEN SAID HE ALSO TO HIM THAT BADE HIM, WHEN YOU MAKE A DINNER OR A SUPPER, CALL NOT YOUR FRIENDS, NOR YOUR BRETHREN, NEITHER YOUR KINSMEN, NOR YOUR RICH NEIGHBORS; LEST THEY ALSO BID YOU AGAIN, AND A RECOMPENSE BE MADE YOU. 13BUT WHEN YOU MAKE A FEAST CALL THE POOR, THE MAIMED, THE LAME, THE BLIND: 14AND YOU SHALL BE BLESSED; FOR THEY CANNOT RECOMPENSE YOU. FOR YOU SHALL BE RECOMPENSED AT THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST’."
Introduction: George had a friend with an inflated opinion of himself. As a friend should, George decided to help his friend lose this quirk. Subtly, George mentioned that he knew Johnny Carson. The friend said, "Oh, yeah, prove it." In a few minutes, they were in front of a large house near the beach. After knocking, out came Johnny Carson saying, "Come on in, George, and bring your friend." On the way home the friend grudgingly said, "OK, so you know Johnny Carson."
Obviously, this was not enough, so George said offhandedly, "Yes, he and I and the president are well-acquainted." The friend looked in the air, at nothing, and cried out, "That’s too much, I’ll pay the costs--let’s go to D.C. and see." At the White House, they just arrived, and out came the president to greet them, saying, "Come on in, George, and bring your friend." Later George’s friend looked around sheepishly and admitted, "Well, yeah, you do know the president."
George sensed his friend needed further deflation. So casually he remarked, "Yeah, but you know the pope has a nicer office." "What!" yelled his wide-eyed friend. "You know the pope! I’ll bet you ten thousand dollars you can’t even get in to see the pope." In a few days, they were in Rome, with George knocking on a door to the Vatican. A cardinal came out extending his hand to George, but saying, "Your friend will have to stay outside!" About an hour went by, when out came the pope onto the balcony, waving at the crowd, with one arm around George. Later, outside, George looked around for his friend and found him out cold in the courtyard. George rushed over, helped his friend up, and apologized for shocking him so. But his friend simply shook his head and mumbled, "It’s not that you knew the pope. It was the crowd! They kept asking each other, ’Who’s the guy with George?’" [James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 451]
I. Against Pride - verses 7-11 (ambition vs. humility)
1. Desire for recognition honor, notoriety, and position
2. Someone has said, "Ambition is a get-ahead-ache."
3. They sought the chief seats - the highest seat of honor at a dinner or banquet was immediately on the right side of the host. The next highest was immediately to the hosts left. The closer one was to the host indicated the higher the guest was regarded.
Matthew 20:20-21 "Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons (James and John), worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom."
4. Many debase others in order to exalt themselves.
5. Sir Philip Sidney. (Leadership, Vol. 11, no. 3) "TO BE AMBITIOUS OF TRUE HONOR AND OF THE REAL GLORY AND PERFECTION OF OUR NATURE IS THE VERY PRINCIPLE AND INCENTIVE OF VIRTUE. BUT TO BE AMBITIOUS OF TITLES, PLACE, CEREMONIAL RESPECTS, AND PAGEANTRY, IS AS VAIN AND LITTLE AS THE THINGS ARE WHICH WE COURT."
6. Richard J. Foster (1942- ) THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT PUSH, DRIVE, CLIMB, GRASP, AND TRAMPLE. DON’T LET THE RAT-RACING WORLD KEEP YOU ON ITS TREADMILL. THERE IS A LEGITIMATE PLACE FOR BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS; BUT IT SHOULD HAVE ITS ROOTS IN THE CALL OF GOD, NOT IN THE DESIRE TO GET AHEAD. LIFE IS MORE THAN A CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE HEAP.