Biblical Text: Luke 14:1-14
Jesus’ invitation to a dinner party is a surprisingly deep text. For something that on the surface is a simple text about compassion and justice, it dives to the heart of the gospel. It opens with a view to a status game. Is Jesus clubbable? Which the answer is both “no” and “how ridiculous are you in thinking you have the ability to ascribe status to The Son of Man?” In Jesus’ first answer, the healing, he sets the real terms. The Son of Man has come to pull all of us out of the well on the Sabbath.
But Jesus then turns around and observes how we assign honor. He tells a parable to the entire guest list. And then he gives some advice to the host. In the parable the key point is that it is an invitation to the wedding feast. How we assign honor is inescapable in this world. And such civil righteousness might not even be bad. But we need to check realm we are thinking of when we show up. If we are talking about the wedding feast, forcing ourselves forward to the place of honor will just shame us. The advice Jesus gives to the host is to ponder who you want to owe you? Those of this world who can reciprocate in worldly status, or God. It’s a challenge to live into the grace and love of Christ, which is always costly.