Don’t you love receiving an invitation to eat at someone’s home where you know the food is going to be fantastic? I love to sit down and share a meal with people as we laugh, cry, pray, and share our lives with each other. People have to eat! Sharing a meal with others was a staple in society during the time of Jesus was on earth and even more so after.
What we find in Luke 14 is crucial to living like Jesus every single day. I believe that Luke 14 will raise questions for each of us pertaining to how we see our friends, those who have caused us hurt, our enemies and those who we view as outcasts or misfits. We begin to see from the very beginning of Luke 14 Jesus starts to tell parables that challenge the normal protocol of their culture, especially the Pharisees. The parable of the wedding feast is a teaching about humility.
11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11 ESV) Jesus desired for them to understand that humility is a spiritual act and comes from being intentional by putting others first as Jesus did and still does.
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:11 ESV)
This kind of thinking is new to so many people! Why would Jesus say this? Why would Jesus not want us to not invite our friends to our house for dinner? Jesus is not saying don’t invite your friends to your house, in fact, he is trying to explain that this is not an act of true charity because your motive is to be repaid by your rich friends and family. Jesus is challenging us to invite the person who looks like they have no friends, outcasts, misfits, and outside of our social circle. Loving people into the kingdom is a difficult task but if we do this as best we can then we will see that the people that we make fun of or think are strange simply need Jesus and a good friend to point them toward His everlasting love.
God is more willing to save the lost than the lost are willing to be saved. Jesus desires for as many people as possible to sit at the table in heaven at the Grand Banquet. A life that is totally surrendered unto Him comes at a cost. The cost can sometimes be losing certain friends, family shunning you, people see you differently, but you must choose to remember who Jesus is and that He is worth it. Jesus encourages and warns us to count the cost of being His disciple, His child. Read Luke 14:25-33 and understand that sharing Jesus with others is such a great honor and privilege, so let’s not waste opportunities to love people with His love.
Ask yourself these questions:
God, is there anyone I see daily that I overlook? God, how can I share your love with that person?
God, is there anything in my heart and life that hinders me from sharing the Gospel? Please help me to overcome this barrier.
God, help me to show myself friendly so that you can use my life as a testimony of your power.
I pray that this post points you to Luke 14 and to gather a better understanding of what loving Jesus, loving people and making disciples is about. May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life. Always remember that Jesus is a constant friend no matter what.
Student Pastor, Image Church