In this week’s scripture (Luke 14:1-14), Jesus is attending a dinner at the home of a Pharisee. He takes time to reiterate a previous lesson, teach us another, and as always, His behavior serves as a guide for our lives. Let’s look at these one at a time and see how they relate to our faith.
Jesus once again heals someone on the Sabbath. In last week’s lesson He was opposed by a synagogue leader who said this should only be done on the other six days of the week. In this passage, Jesus asks the Pharisees point blank if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath, and they are unable to answer Him. Perhaps they are afraid of being embarrassed, perhaps they are thinking about His example, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?”
(Luke 14:5). In the same way, Jesus is saying He came to save us and will bless and heal us every day.
At the dinner itself, He gives a lesson about being humble. He draws their attention to how they seat themselves by rank and position within the community; then explains that by not competing for the best places they can avoid embarrassment and be honored if the host invites them to move to a better seat. He shows us that God will honor those who serve over those who seek glory for themselves.
Jesus also teaches us two very important lessons by His behavior. First, He is at a dinner at the home of a Pharisee, those who often question and outright oppose His teaching. Instead of avoiding His opponents, He engages them in fellowship, taking the opportunity to exchange ideas and teach in a relaxed atmosphere. Second, at the very beginning of the passage, it tells us they were watching Him closely (Luke 14:1). We need to know that the world is watching us as His followers to see if we behave as He did, regardless of the situation. Jesus calls us to be His representatives in the world, even among those with whom we disagree. He said following Him would not be easy, but it is what we must do.
Loving Lord, thank You for Your example and Your teaching that show us the way to follow You. Help us to continue learning Your lessons and sharing Your love with the world. Amen.