Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke 14: 7 – 11

Luke 14: 7 – 11

Elvis Has Left The Building

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.”

I love to watch and observe people. For me going on a vacation becomes a treat by just taking in the various actions of the ones that cross my path. I especially take note in observing religious big shots. You hear them in the pulpit and they are amazing. They are funny, intelligent, and seem to display a lot of wisdom. But if you only knew what they are like after they step down from the podium. They are evil. I know of one Pastor who is wanted all over the world to speak because of the wisdom he elicits. If only people knew that what makes him so special is that he is good at listening to 3 or 4 other teachers and then he consolidates their work and gives it out as his on wisdom. Something is wrong here.

I see many of these charismatic celebrities who will not interact with the brother and sisters at different conferences. They come in escorted and are hidden away until their time to teach. They have their seats set aside up in the front when they finally come into the service, right before their introduction. Afterwards they are hustled away from the admiring church fans before they might be approached by other attendees. The conference speaker should say, ‘Elvis has left the building’.

I see in a way this same issue of trying to be a Mr. Big Shot described by our Master here in this portion of chapter 14. Our Lord Jesus’ point here is that those who are truly seeking the Kingdom of God with all their hearts, with no thought of status, will take the humble place, and will in the final Assessment be ‘moved up higher’, while those whose eyes are fixed on obtaining honor and status for themselves will in the end discover that they have lost both. They will be told to ‘go down lower’ and will have to descend to ‘the lowest place’. Thus it is not only teaching them a lesson in humility, it is pointing them towards life under the Kingdom of God.

7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

Our Lord Jesus was invited to a meal by some religious leaders. He noted how the Scribes and Pharisees who had come for the meal at the leading Pharisee’s house carefully chose the chief seats so that their superiority would be recognized. The couches would be placed at small tables and set in a U shaped formation with the host at the bottom of the U, reclining on his left elbow at table with his feet spread outwards on the couch, which would usually hold three diners. The most honored guest would be to his left, and the next most honored to the right. The least honored would be on a couch furthest away from the host.

Now here is a question for you to consider. Who do you think was the honored guest at the Last Supper? Let me give you a chance for an open book exam. Please turn to the Gospel of John chapter 13, “18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. 20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” 21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” 22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. 25 Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

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