Summary: Do we look to exhalt ourselves or humble ourselves?
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
The best seat in the house! It’s what everybody’s looking for. Let’s say you have been invited to a Football game by the owner of a team… where are “HIS” seats? [skybox]. Suppose you want to buy the best seats for a Football game for yourself, where do you want them? [50 yard line] Suppose you are going to a baseball game, are the best seats up in the nosebleads? [behind home plate] How about a boxing match? [Ring side] How about at a play or a concert? [front row center]
People will beg, borrow, and steal to get those seats… won’t they? And when you have tickets for those seats… do you keep it quiet? “Hey, check out where I’ll be sitting for the Bears game this weekend.” To get those seats… is special. To have those seats… means we are somewhat important. Perhaps we are powerful, perhaps we are rich, perhaps we know the right people… doesn’t matter… we are important!
But let’s not stop there. This isn’t JUST for special occasions. What happens in a crowded parking lot when a parking spot opens up RIGHT next to the entrance? Do you ever see anyone fighting for the parking spot furthest away from the entrance? Young and old alike; women… men… will drive around and around and around to get the spot they deserve.
Did you know… we even have a best seat in our church… one people fight over! [The back pew] I assume that’s because that’s the easiest place to take a nap without being noticed.
We want the best seat. No… we deserve the best seat. Who else… really… deserves those seats more than me? Haven’t we really earned the privilege of having those special spots?