Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hospitality - Jesus' Way!

This week, we are reading from Luke, chapter 14. Jesus is still with "those Pharisees" and they are watching him closely! Now they're at dinner ... Skip over the healing part, we covered that last week. This time, (see vs. 1, then 7-14), he's directing the seating ... and then the invitations ... offering his biblical world etiquette lessons, if you will. "Don't sit at the honored seat - then you won't be embarrassed! ... And don't invite people who can invite you back - invite those who can't pay you back!"

Just a few questions:

Are these just etiquette lessons, designed to keep us from being embarrassed, or do they say something about life lived in God's way?

How is it that we seek blessings, rather than trying to live our lives as a blessing?

What happens to us when we experience the gracious (and totally undeserved) place of honor from God?

Just some wonderings ...

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  1. Obviously this is more than just etiquette lessons. I can hear the encouragement to be humble and to be kind to those less fortunate, not really hidden meaning either or all that shocking. I guess I am asking myself s few different questions as I read the passage. Why did Jesus accept the invitation to eat with the Pharisees? They weren't really friends. He isn't poor, maimed, blind or less fortunate, not really. Why would he want to eat with this stuffy bunch of men who were alwas trying to catch him doing something wrong? These are the kinds of people I intentionally do not eat dinner with, let alone try to teach them anything about etiquette. Their whole goal was His demise. So why is he so bent on teaching them anything?

    I need to think about this some more......


  2. What is the purpose of going to the feast? To celebrate, to enjoy fully the moment. The human motive all too often is to be seen, to be heard, to be noticed, recognized, and honored. Think about it though...just being invited is an honor. To want more, to want to be in the limelight, is wrong.

    The DESIRE to WANT oftentimes overshadows the ABILITY to ENJOY.

    Consider our blessings from God, everyone has them! But it seems that the blessings we want keep us from enjoying or even noticing the blessings we have. Life itself is such a blessing, yet we take each day for granted. It becomes just another day. I like the way one gentleman says it. "In order to be blessed, you have to be a blessing." Do people consider it a blessing to get to share time with you? Remember this. Everyone brightens a room--some by entering, some by leaving. The choice is ours, yours and mine. It's simply our focus that makes all of the difference in the world. If we focus on what we want, we only notice those who have more than us. Why couldn't that be me, we ask? But if we focus on all of the blesings that God has provided us with, we realize that God has already honored us way more than we deserve. That is when we notice others who are needy, others who drive the old rusty cars, others who wear old worn-out clothes, others who can barely get by. The thought that keeps coming to mind is that those who are first will be last, and those that are last will be first!