"When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, `Give this person your place,' and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, `Friend, move up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."It ios another example of the ongoing theme in the Gospels that "You are who you eat with." The Center for Excellence in Preaching notes of this passage,
Remember that so far in Luke Jesus has already been consorting with the demon-possessed, the lepers, and had even made a tax collector one of his twelve disciples. He has healed the servant of a despised Roman centurion, has had his feet anointed by a prostitute, and told a story with a Samaritan hero. It was not difficult to figure out what kind of people were Jesus' favorites....The link to their full text is found here: September 2, 2007.
Luke doesn't tell us how that Sabbath-day dinner party ended. But you have the feeling that when Jesus left, his host did not smile and say, "Come again!" In fact, in the balance of Luke's gospel you will never again read that Jesus was the guest of a Pharisee or any other religious authority. The next dinner party Jesus attends is at the beginning of Luke 15 but this time he is the guest of tax collectors and "sinners." The Pharisees watch Jesus go into that party and condemn him loudly for doing it. Small wonder that immediately following this parable—in what will be the lection for next Sunday--Luke shows Jesus talking about the cost of discipleship and how much a person must be willing to give up if he or she truly wants to follow after Jesus.
We know who Jesus' kind of people were. The question to ask of ourselves and of our congregations in a sermon on Luke 14 is whether Jesus’ kind of people are our kind of people.
Labels: Gospel reading