Summary: Humble yourself and you will be exalted by God.
It is my great privilege as a preacher of the Word of God to tell you that the same power that brought Jesus Christ out of the grave is available to you. Today, I’d like for us to talk about the secret of exalted living, to have the same kind of power that brought Jesus out of the grave living in you.
Our text comes from Luke 14 beginning in verse 7. The first verse of this chapter tells us that Jesus went to a banquet at a very prominent person’s home, and they were watching Him. In verse 7, we learn that He was watching them.
Read Luke 14:7-11
It was Earnest Hemingway who said, "Only a bullfighter lives life all the way up." Well, I don’t want to be a bullfighter, do you?
I would like to live life all the way up, and I believe that’s what Jesus is all about. He’s telling you, "I want you to live life all the way up."
Living Life to the Fullest
Isn’t that what He meant in John 10:10? They asked Him, "What are You doing here? If You are who they say You are, what are You doing here?"
He replied, "I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly." That they might have it to the fullest.
Jesus wants you to live life all the way up.
I think that’s what this parable is about. It’s a strange parable and sounds like it’s totally irrelevant. I mean, what should banquet etiquette for the first century have to do with you and me? We don’t go to banquets like that. We don’t have to wonder where to sit because they tell us where to sit. They have the places at the head table all assigned.
What does this have to do with us?
What about this funny, little story of proud men running around, trying to figure out where they fit in the pecking order. It’s about men trying to figure out who’s less or more important than them so they’ll know where to sit. They had to be careful. If they sat in a place of great importance, the host may come with someone who came late and tell them that the seat they took is to be occupied by someone of more importance. That would be embarrassing.
That’s not what it’s about.
I think Jesus is saying to these men what He would say to those of us who wear the clothes we wear, drive the cars we drive, live in the homes we occupy, and use the positions that we have to say, "Look at me! I am somebody! I have arrived! I have made something out of myself in this world."
This isn’t funny to Jesus because He says, "You’ve missed it. You’ve missed it by a country mile. Your vitality, importance, and greatness is not in what you have, wear, and drive or where you live and work. Your greatness is inside of you. It’s deep inside of you, and I want you to know it doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you set at the head table. I want to show you how to find the deep part of you and to face up to the real important part of you. Then you can become what God intended you to be."
In 1 Corinthians 2, beginning in verse 7, the Lord begins to talk to people about the wisdom of God. This wisdom will never be understood by even the sharpest and most powerful of people of this world. "Eye has not seen. It’s invisible. Ear has not heard. It’s inaudible.
Neither has entered the mind of this world’s men the things that God has for those who place their trust in Him. It is incomprehensible to them because it comes from the depths of God."
Now I try not to give you too many Greek lessons, but there is in this original Word that God gives to us the word for "deepest" which is bathos.
We get our word bathysphere from this word. Do you know what a bathysphere is? It’s a steel diving bell that they lower on a cable down to the deepest part of the ocean, so they can search out parts of the ocean that they’d never see without it.
His love and wisdom are like that. The Holy Spirit of God allows us to see the deep things of God that the world can never see.
I hope it’s not sounding too judgmental or negative for me to say that I’m deeply concerned. I feel that so much of what we do, even in the name of Christ and Christianity, is so shallow. Instead of going down in to the deep things of God, we just hang around at surface level and miss all the wisdom of God and all the great things of God.