The Best Seat
October 15, 2021
Most of us want to get the best seat that we can when we go to a public gathering; especially if it is something or someone that we really want to see or hear. We may even arrive hours early to get that seat. If we have to purchase a ticket, we purchase it as soon as we can. The best seats are available to anyone if they arrive early enough and pay the required price.
In Luke 14:7-11, we have a scene that is somewhat similar. However, it is different in that the invited guests to the meal were status seekers. They sought the best seats not so much to see or hear someone else. Their motivation was that they themselves would be the ones that were seen and heard by those in attendance.
Earlier in Luke, Jesus said, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the market place.” This same spirit was not only in the synagogues but because it resided in their hearts, self-exaltation and vainglory was their constant inner companion.
Now in the Pharisee’s house, all eyes are on Jesus. As the guests begin to choose their seats, maneuvering and manipulating their way into position, Jesus knew why they did what they did.
Therefore, He told a parable 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.”
At first read you may think this is merely a parable about proper etiquette. However, the parable contains spiritual truths that all of us would do well to take heed. First, it warns and instructs us that we may avoid public shame. Then, it shows us what is pleasing and acceptable to God. Finally, it teaches the path to true greatness and honor.
Jesus went on to say, “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 humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In God’s economy, the best seat is available to anyone who follows His instruction realizing that true honor cannot be manufactured; it must be given by God who will make sure that the one who obeys Him will not be put to shame. Ultimately, we either seek to please God or to please people.
Let us strive to please God in all our ways and He will see to it that we get the best seat.
This article was first published in The Omaha Star (Vol.83-No.21) – October 15, 2021 © 2021, “God’s Word, Alive!” This article may be freely copied and distributed so long as the copyright notice and website address are included.
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