7When 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. 9If 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. 10But 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. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12Then 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. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
- At a banquet, Jesus commented on the behaviour of the guests, who competed with each other for “places of honour”. The scrambling for position reflected the heart attitude of the Pharisee’s guests. As Jesus pointed out, it was also foolish, as it exposed a person to the danger of embarrassment if asked to go down lower. Jesus also had advice for His host. Don’t use the dinners for social advantage, or to seek a favour. God’s kingdom is open to everyone, especially those that can never return the favour. God will repay us in eternity.
- How do things like customs and status get in the way of you loving others in family, church, workplace, or community?
- What does it mean today for you to throw a party for “the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind”? Who would you invite? What would it be like?
- Talk with Jesus about this idea and share the insights with a few close friends. Make plans to do it.
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: Parents guide the discussion Questions 3 & 4 above with children. Identify some appropriate ways to “throw a party”, or a kind act to someone in need. Decide Follow up on the activity on Ch 10.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 8:5-8
5 O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. 6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, 7 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.