Reflection on Luke 14:7-11

“And he spoke a parable also to them that were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them: When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honourable than thou be invited by him: And he that invited thee and him, come and say to thee, Give this man place: and then thou begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when thou art invited, go, sit down in the lowest place; that when he who invited thee, cometh, he may say to thee: Friend, go up higher. Then shalt thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee. Because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:7-11)

Literal Sense:  While Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, he noted how the other guests that chose the first seats or the seats of honor at the table.  His parable was a gentle rebuke as he taught them not to seek the place of honor but to seek a more humble position and if one is worthy God Himself will exalt him.

Allegorical Sense:  Christ is the man who chose the humble place at the table rather than the place of honor by becoming a man and serving others in obscurity.  Christ kept His heavenly origin a secret for many years and served mankind in obscurity.  As a result of his humility, which was made most manifest on the cross, God the Father exalted His Son and gave Him authority over all of creation.

Moral Sense:  These things were not written merely to teach us to take the humble seat when invited to dinner but it teaches us to take the humble seat in everything that we do. We are not to exalt ourselves by thinking ourselves to be great or seeking fame and attention; rather, we are to serve God and our neighbor in secret and, if we are worthy, God will exalt us and reveal to others what He has done through us.

Anagogical Sense:  On the Day of Judgment, God will exalt all who have served him in humility but will humble all who dared to believe they were people of great importance and power.

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