Summary: Find your place in ministry. If you do not seek, you will not find.

Choose the Lowly Place

Rev. Phillip A. Wright

Luke 14:7-14 7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 8 "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 "and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ’Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 "But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ’Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just." (NKJV)

Today, we will continue last week’s message. Review vs. 1-6, Jesus is still with the same group of Pharisees in one of their ruler’s home having their Sabbath meal. During the meal Jesus performed a miracle in their presence by healing a man of the dropsy (swollen arms and legs). The language tells us that the Pharisees were in essence dumbfounded and unable to speak.

I. Being an Honorable Guest

A. The Normal Practice

1. Vs. 7-8. Seek to set in the more honored place at a banquet.

2. Be seen by others in a position of honor and favor.

3. To be thought of well by others

4. Culturally the society is similar to the Orientals.

a. The culture is not like ours. Linear, everyone is equal or pretty well ranked the same.

b. In their culture you either bowed, or were bowed to.

c. The culture is hierarchal. The Pharisees liked being viewed as being important to smart and given public praise.

B. The Better Practice

1. Vs. 9-11. Chose your seat in a lowlier place. In the event you are asked to sit in a position of higher honor you will be honored in the presence of all.

2. No one likes to be publicly embarrassed, good or evil.

3. This gives the head of the party the opportunity to seat you in a position of more favor. Unless there is a guest of more importance than you.

4. It is easy for us to want to spend time with those we know and love. Have you ever been an outcast; disabled, needy, new one in the area? The last one picked for the ball team. Unimportant.

II. Being an Honorable Host

A. The Normal Practice

1. Who do you invite? Family, Friends, Coworkers, Neighbors

2. Why you invite them? Relatives, things in common, warm cordial times, strengthen relationships.

B. The Better Practice

1. Who should you invite?

a. Poor, Cripple / Maimed, Lame, Blind.

2. Why you should invite them? Well if you come humbly into your Christian duties it will become the feast which Jesus describes at the end of the passage, there you see all the people around the table reaching out their hands to those near them who cannot provide a meal for themselves but who are still desperately need to share in the Lord’s feast.

a. This is a feast of the poor can you see the hands reach out in need. They are unable to repay you. This is a gesture of giving with no expectation of return.

• ptochos {pto-khos’} Meaning: 1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms 2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor 2a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches 2b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end 2c) poor, needy 3) lacking in anything Origin: from ptosso {to crouch, akin to 4422 and the alternate of 4098);

• They need to share in the feast.

b. This is a feast of the crippled / maimed that may not have hands to share the work. They may have no social ability, unable to get around, could be considered unclean under certain circumstances.

• anaperos {an-ap’-ay-ros} Meaning: 1) disabled in the limbs, maimed, crippled 2) injured in, or bereft of, some member of the body Usage: AV - maimed 2; 2. Note:[ (Grk: cholos): Only occurs in Acts 14:8, denoting the congenitally lame man at Lystra. In the King James Version (1611) the word is spelled "creeple." It originally meant one whose body is bent together as in the attitude of creeping. This could denote infantile paralysis or an accident. Preposition makes the word intensive, as in very badly crippled.

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