Walking in Truth Devotional Update
Take the Lowest Seat Parable
“So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Apparently when Jesus went to dine with a Pharisee (Luke 14:1) He witnessed a scramble for the chief seats at the table by the Pharisees who were there. This was an audacious display of pride, in order to be seen and recognized. Noticing this Jesus told the parable of our text. In His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-8), our Savior taught us that we should not make a display of our religion. We must never attempt, to show godliness, or to show spirituality and devotion to God by any outward action. Let us adorn the Gospel (Titus 2:10) by our behavior, always. But we must never make a show of godliness. Jesus was addressing those “who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation” (Luke 20:46-47). Even today we have some folks who do good works to be seen by men.
The key to this parable is found in Proverbs 25:6-7 — “Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.” The Lord must have had this passage in mind when He spoke this parable. He is the King to whose wedding feast sinners are bidden, before whom we must come in humility.
Jesus truly demonstrated this quality of humbleness. When He had the highest place in the universe along with the Father, he took the lowest place, abasing Himself to come to earth to serve humanity by dying on the cross (Phil. 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 8:9). After relating the parable Jesus said, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). The wise man said, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18); “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Prov. 29:23). Why is humility so important to a Christian? The Bible has 106 stories emphasizing humility. Humility has been called the queen of the Christian graces.
Divine blessings are promised to those who learn the lesson of humility and demonstrate it in our everyday lives: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” Isaiah 57:15 (NKJV). It is this very quality that permits us to walk with God:” He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Mic 6:8)
This is a most important lesson for God’s people to learn. Don’t you think?
By Guy Roberson
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