Monday, April 22, 2024

Deliberately Avoiding The Limelight

By Joe Slater

    Today at formal banquets the host and hostess are expected to indicate where each guest is to be seated. Certain seats are for those deemed more important or honored than others. In first-century Palestine, guests seem to have seated themselves wherever they pleased with the understanding that the host might ask them to move. Jesus, having been invited to eat at the home of a ruler of the Pharisees, took advantage of this custom to teach about humility.

    “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best seats . . .” (Luke 14:7). Sitting with the important people might make you look important, at least for a while; but, as Jesus said, the host might very well “say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place” (14:9).

    Why not purposely take the lowest place? Then the host might “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” (14:10-11).

    Jesus never sought to draw attention to Himself. In fact, He took pains to avoid it. He let His teaching and His works speak for themselves as He did the Father’s will. He modeled the humility commended by Solomon: “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2).

    Even if no other mortal notices or honors you, be assured that God takes note. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5;6).

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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