Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 27/08/2010 – 12:04
Year C (2009-2010)
Bible Book: Luke / Lukas
Chapter: 14
Verse: 1 – 14

Luke tells us that Jesus noticed how the guests who were invited to the house of the Pharisee (cf v 1) “were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table” (v 7 – NLT). He responded to this by telling a parable (v 8-11) and by giving advice that was directed at the host (v 12-14).

Is this “parable” in verses 8 to 11 (the NIRV translates it with “story” and the NLT with “advice”) about attending a wedding feast only about good manners? Is Jesus simply giving them advice on how to behave if they want to save face?

When we read what Jesus said to the host in the next three verses about whom he should invite to a lunch or dinner (v 12-14) we find confirmation that good manners or avoiding social embarrassment cannot be his concern. To invite “the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind” (v 12 – NLT) to your house when important people expect to be invited could be an occasion for mockery rather than admiration.

There are different opinions on what the real meaning of these sayings of Jesus is. Some of them are quite appealing and there may be more than one message for the readers of this passage.

The answer that challenges me most is that Jesus is confronting the guests and host of this meal with their deepest motives. Why did you take that seat? Why did you invite these guests? What were your motives?

This passage in Luke, together with Matthew 6:1-4, confirms to me that our motives are important to God. For Him the question is not only what we do, but why we do it.

Too often our motives are to be seen and to be flattered by people. We seek to be important in the eyes of others and to be reckoned with.

This reminded me of the saying: Live for an audience of One!

The soccer player who plays for the pavilion easily misses the goal. The Christian who lives to be seen by people may easily miss God’s goal for his or her life.

To think about or discuss: What are your motives for your involvement in the HIV and AIDS field – or: what are your motives for not being involved?

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English

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