In Luke 14, Jesus is invited to eat at the house of a prominent Pharisee. The entire purpose of this meal was to entrap Jesus into saying something that he shouldn’t. But instead of that, Jesus heals a man that is literally right in front of them. Did you catch that? The teachers of the law, the individuals who spent their entire lives studying the word of God, failed to see that there was a person in dire need of help right in front of them.
Jesus takes this moment to talk about placement, specifically where you sit at a dinner. It is here that Jesus says, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will exalted.” Again, placement is a key element to this chapter, but Jesus isn’t finished yet, and he has more to say about dinner parties.
There was a custom during the time of Jesus to only invite people to your parties so they would turn around and invite you to theirs. Using this reference, Jesus says that the people you should be inviting to your parties are those who cannot repay you. He then mentions the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Do you know who these people were? They were individuals that society often overlooked or forgot about. Jesus is telling Pharisees that they should try to focus their eyes on the people that society rejects or ignores. This is an intentional and purposeful way to live one’s life.
If we go back to the beginning of the story, we see that Jesus takes a dinner party invitation and reverses everything. He takes the focus away from the host and the other attendees. More than that, he heals someone whom they fail to see. If we are going to be individuals that follow Christ, we have to see the world in the way that Jesus did. We cannot overlook or look past those Christ would serve, heal, and pay attention to. It is both an intentional and transformational way to live, and it is exactly how we are called to live out the Great Commission.