Friday, March 22, 2013

Luke 14:1-14

v. 1-6 Jesus was invited to the home of one of the Pharisees, they were watching Him and waiting to trip Him up.  There was a man suffering from dropsy, which was an abnormal accumulation of fluid in bodily tissues and cavities.  Jesus asked "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?"  But they remained silent so Jesus healed the man.  Then He asked "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?  And they had nothing to say."  These men were confronted with a question that they did not have an answer to.  Many make excessive rules that seem to not be able to fit every circumstance and then they are speechless.  I believe that the Pharisees were so out of touch with the general public and their needs that they were silent on this matter. 

Jesus healed seven times on the Sabbath:

Mark 1:21-28     Jesus sends a demon out of a man
Mark 1:29-31     Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law
John 5:1-18        Jesus heals a lame man by the Pool Bethesda
Mark 3:1-6         Jesus heals a man with a shriveled hand
Luke 13:10-17   Jesus restores a crippled woman
Luke 14:1-6       Jesus heals a man with dropsy
John 9:1-16        Jesus heals a man born blind                                                                        NIV notes

God would not have been pleased if Jesus had ignored those people's needs just because of man made laws.  Our laws have no jurisdiction over God.

People may wonder why Jesus was still around the Pharisees when He had denounced them so many times.  Jesus was not afraid of men or their false thinking of elevated power.  Sometimes we are around people that we do not like and do not have our best interest at heart.  We are not to fear anyone or anything if we have God.  Some might get disheartened that Jesus did not add daughter to the list of things that fell into the well.  Jesus was a champion of women, but during those times and at that place it would not have had the same impact that a son or animal would have had to those Pharisees.  Don't worry ladies, we are highly valued in the Kingdom!

v. 7-14 Jesus teaches about seeking humility.  When He noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, He told them this parable: "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.  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.  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.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 

In our society people are constantly trying to get ahead and be seen.  Whether it is social status, house, car or group of friends, don't let your position be anything but humble.  Jesus is telling us how we should see things differently.  Over and over again Jesus keeps pointing out that the humble will be exalted and those that exalt themselves will be humbled.  He spoke the truth and the most important parts were emphasized.  Should we not pay extra attention to the things He said repeatedly?  Jesus said we should not be exclusive about whom we invite.  I don't think that in today's world you can easily invite people off the street into your home, but I do think that we will not grow much if we don't venture outside our safe circle of friends.  Is there someone new at church or work that you could invite to lunch or to grab a cup of coffee? 

Humility is not putting your self down, that in it self is sin since there is such a focus inward and you are withholding it from God to handle it yourself.    We also need to see the gifts we are given and use them.  I like to look up the definition of words to gain a clearer understand of their depth.  The definition of humble is: not proud or arrogant; modest, having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, low in rank, importance, status, courteously respectful, to make meek: to humble one's heart.

"Humility is not self-degradation; it is realistic assessment and commitment to serve.  Truly humble people compare themselves only with Christ, realize their sinfulness and know their limitations."  NIV notes

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