Theme: The Best Seats
Upper bleachers or first baseline? With stadium seats being limited due to COVID, I can see people buying upper bleacher seats and working their way down to the first baseline. But the risk is the usher will ask to see your ticket, and humiliated, you will be asked to leave. Jesus says a better approach is to take the worst seat and be thankful if the usher tells you to move closer since there are open seats. It is the difference between receiving a gift and trying to take something that is not yours.
Jesus says it best, "For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
All through Luke’s gospel, God does this. Calls people from ...
• out to in
• low to high
• down to up
• last to first
Jesus is suggesting a new habit. BE HUMBLE. Don’t seek the best seats, receive them as the free gift of God. If you are thinking that’s right, think twice. Are we really ready to embrace this habit? We compete with each other for place all the time:
• Only one person gets elected President
• Not everyone gets promoted
• There are bell curves
• GPA’s separate us
• At graduation, not everyone graduates with honors
• Not everyone stands on the podium at the Olympics
• We have income brackets and social standings
You don’t get far in life if you are willing to take last place. Just ask the Browns, no one invites them to the Super Bowl. Maybe that’s the Steelers now. How things have changed! So you won't get very far in life seeking the worst seat in the house, right?
What Jesus is suggesting makes no sense. He is way out of step with the way culture operates. His new habit would make anyone in their right mind say He has lost it. But then again, could this really cure the thirst for status that bloats our egos? Could we survive by receiving honor as a gift rather than wrenching it from each other? Could we enjoy that first baseline seat more if it was given to us rather than us taking it?
It’s worth a thought.
Scripture: Luke 14:11 (NIV)
"For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Prayer: Be Humble
“Father, you say there are two kinds of people. People who exalt themselves and people who humble themselves. Teach me to be a person who humbles themselves. Free me from seeking status at any cost. Free me from comparison. Free me from always trying to get the edge over others. Help me to be a person who would rather be in the bleachers so others could enjoy the front row. Help me to be more excited about others winning. Help me to receive honor from You should you choose to give it. Last thing, may my motive to be humble not come from a desire to be exalted, but may it come from a desire to follow the habits of Jesus. In His name, Amen."