“But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:10-11
When I was in college I went with a few friends to a football game. We arrived at the game and headed to our seats, which were in the upper deck and far from the field. After a few minutes, I noticed that there were a few empty seats near the field and I decided to go down and sit in them. Even though my friends didn’t think it was a good idea, I decided to leave my assigned seat for a better one.
As I moved to my new seat I was happy to be close to the field and I patted myself on the back for being so smart. Things were great…until someone else patted me on the back. The rightful ticket holders had showed up and were demanding to sit in their seats. I was BUSTED!! Embarrassed, I had to return to my friends and endure some well deserved kidding for the rest of the game.
In Jesus’ day, when people held wedding parties, seat assignments were very important. The closer you were seated to the bride, the more important you were. There was a group of people known as the Pharisees who were very concerned with what seat they had at the spiritual table. They thought they deserved the best seat because they did many things for God and they thought they were more important than others.
In this verse, Jesus corrected their way of thinking by telling the parable of the wedding feast. In it, he told them to be humble and to not assume that were more important than others. He told them to serve others and to let God handle the spiritual seating arrangements.
We all struggle with thinking we are more important than other people around us. We want to make ourselves special by trying to take the best seat rather than realizing that, because of Jesus, God has already made us special through Jesus. Our seat is secure at the table. This frees us up to serve other people instead of trying to get the best seat for ourselves all of the time.