Scripture: “But when you are invited, take the lowest place,” … “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,”(Luke 14:10, 13)

Observation: Luke 14 begins with the words (v. 1): “One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.”  Jesus did associate with the Pharisees, unfortunately they weren’t really interested in Jesus.  Rather, they were interested in the way he threatened their known world … their culture. Healing on the Sabbath was a no-no.  Eating with sinners and gentiles was also a no-no. Jesus did all these things, and yet was gaining in popularity and renown.  Jesus was a threat to them, and so they watched him – waiting for him to do something of which they could accuse him and be rid of him once and for all.

Application:  When Jesus did speak, his words challenged the cultural norms.  Who would take the lowest place at a banquet?  Who would invite poor, crippled beggars to a fine banquet?  … and as we begin the Prodigal God series … who would kill the fattened calf for a wayward son?  Truly Jesus’ message was counter-cultural.  As it was 2,000 years ago, so it still is today.

Prayer:  Jesus, help me to understand just how radical your love for us sinners is.  In Your Holy Name.  Amen.