Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:12-14
What are you telling us, Lord? We’re not supposed to have a good time with our friends? That’s not really the main point of the story, but Jesus also wants us to see that partying with our friends is not the main point of life.
He uses this to illustrate the call God places on our lives to be loving and giving to those who have no means of “inviting us back”, the last, the least and the lost. While Jesus is with the Pharisees and church leaders at this dinner, He spent a substantial amount of time with the poor and was often criticized because He “ate and drank with sinners” (Matthew 5:30).
Jesus teaches that we should not focus on fellowship with just those who can help us, but with our brothers and sisters who have nothing to offer us in return. Jesus came to be with us and we certainly have nothing to offer Him but our love and faithfulness. He was willing to come to us and sacrifice Himself for us, we must be willing to go to those who need to know His love through us.
Loving Lord, we know You send us to those in need, who hunger and thirst for the Good News. Make us strong in Your love, and let us share the gift You have given with everyone, everywhere, always. Amen.