Parables of Jesus-Parable of Guests
A young man moved away from his parents to become a student. Proudly showing off his new apartment to a couple of his friends late one night, he led the way to his bedroom where there was a big brass gong.
“What’s that big brass gong?” one of the guests asked.
“It’s not a gong. It’s a talking clock,” the man replied.
“A talking clock? Seriously? Asked his astonished friend.
“Yup,” replied the student.
“How’s it work?” the 2nd guest asked, squinting at it.
“Watch,” the student replied. He picked up a hammer, gave it an ear-shattering pound and stepped back.
The three stood looking at one another for a moment. Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed: “You idiot, it’s ten past three in the morning!”
For the past several weeks we have looked at parables of Jesus found in Matthew. Today we are going to continue looking at some of the other parables that Jesus told.
Now we are moving to the gospel of Luke.
Go ahead and turn with me to our text for this morning found in Luke 14.
As you are turning there, I’m going to give you a quick summary of this parable. This parable is all about humility. It’s titled the parable of the guests, but Jesus speaks to both the guests and the host of the feast.
He speaks first to the guests.
Follow along as I read
Definition of humility
Philippians 2:3-5 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus wanted His disciples to have a: Proper View of Self
Notice how Jesus, in the beginning of this parable, describes the guests had been picking out the places of honor at the table. That means they had an improper view of themselves. They assumed they were the most important people that were invited to the feast.
Humility is not a strategy for personal gain.
Imagine going to a friend’s house for thanksgiving dinner and taking the seat at the head of the table. That is the spot that is typically reserved for the host of the meal. No one should assume they would be sitting there unless the host invited them to sit in that seat.
A humble guest would never select the seat of honor or jockey for the best position. A humble guest would take the worst seat at the table.
Humility does NOT mean to think that you have less value than others. Humility is to put the needs of others above your own. Isn’t that exactly what Jesus did as He hung on the cross taking on our sin and shame? He put our need for salvation above His need to avoid suffering.
Jesus also wanted His disciples to have a:
Proper View of Others
God created all men in His own image. That means we are all valuable to Him. Sometimes we have a negative view of others without having even met or talked to them. Jesus wanted to show the disciples that they should love others with the love that He has for them.
It’s fairly easy to love your brother, isn’t it?
But, Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That is challenging,
especially when they aren’t good neighbors. However, God equips us to be able to love others and esteem them as more important than ourselves because He gives us the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. It’s only by the help of the Holy Spirit that we are able to humble ourselves as Christ did.
Now, we get to the focal verse of the text, v.11
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Those who think too highly of themselves are bound to be humbled. Remember Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”
God has a way of humbling the prideful. Pride and humility are opposed to each other.
In the parable Jesus says “in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.”
But to those who humble themselves and have a proper view of themselves and others, Jesus says that the host will come to them and say, “Friend, move up higher.”
So we see the humble being exalted.
Jesus humbled Himself by being obedient to God’s plan
And the Bible tells us “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”
God exalts the humble and humbles those who exalt themselves.
Humility is counter cultural. People have a difficult time understanding how believers can put the needs of others above their own. It doesn’t make sense, but it is the way God designed it. And it is the way Jesus modeled it.
Aren’t you glad we have His incredible example of humility to follow? Imagine how difficult it would be to follow without His example!
Now, let’s look at Jesus’ words to the host.
A humble host has the
Proper Motivation for Hosting
Remember back to the sermon on the mount, Jesus told His disciples to beware of practicing righteousness before men because if you do that you will have no reward in heaven.
It’s the same situation as here.
Jesus tells the host NOT to invite
Your rich neighbors
The proper motivation for hosting should be twofold.
The first should be for the purpose of generosity.
God has given us so much. We can show thanks by being generous to those who are less fortunate.
Jesus gives a few examples:
When we have a meal with those who can’t repay us we are storing up for ourselves treasures in heaven.
We aren’t doing it for a return invite.
Think about the context of this parable.
Jesus was telling Jews to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind in for dinner. What if some of those were not Jews? Jesus still wanted them to be generous to them and invite them in.
It’s a mindset of generosity
The second motivation should be for the purpose of fellowship.
Remember how they ate meals in Jesus’ day?
They reclined at table. It was an intimate setting.
Each person placed their arm on the legs of the person next to them.
Breaking bread is a great time to get to know someone a little bit more than just hello, how are you doing.
Baptists are known for their potlucks and casserole dish events, but there is good reason for them, because eating is a great time to go deeper and really find out more about someone.
Notice that last sentence of the parable (found in v.15).
Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God.
This points to the end of times talked about in Revelation 19:9 about the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is where believers will sup with Jesus in sweet fellowship and bask in His loving kindness.
This parable is a call to humility.
As we consider how to apply the text we must take some time to examine how we view ourselves and others
Examine our view of self
Examine our view of others
If we have too high a view of ourselves, we are susceptible to pride.
If we have too low a view of others we don’t value them as God’s children.
God wants us to be humble so that at the right time He can exalt us. James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Finally, we must consider that we are like the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.
We are totally unworthy to have fellowship with God, but Jesus purchased our pardon by His death and resurrection on the cross. What an incredible thing He has done for us. We ought to humbly bow and give Him awe and reverence that He deserves.