Wednesday, August 29, 2007

For Sunday September 2 - Luke 14 - "Mind Your Manners"

Humble obedience. Knowing our place in the world.
Do what you do for God - be constantly aware of his presence. He’s the ultimate host of every table at which you sit. He’s the only one from whom you need to seek approval. Freeing advice.
This passage is, among other things, simply about living everyday life for God. Attitude, the power of a quiet life in God’s presence.
Rambling thoughts...
* "he was being carefully watched" - not sure all the reasons they were watching him. Curiosity, wondering if he was really the messiah, good reasons and bad reasons. Some felt threatened and wanted to catch him in a sin or mistake.
* Jesus' felt the temptation to do what others want or expect him to. We feel that too, but to often give into it. He never does give in.
* At first the next part (vs 6ff) of the passage seems like a huge change. But it was still at the dinner table. Jesus just got to thinking about their preoccupation with his attention to the suffering man. He felt how the man was unwelcome. He knows the thoughts of those around the table.

• Jesus is so puzzling. His lesson to the dinner party guests seems to be “How to be the most honored guest at the party.” The way to get there is through humility and taking the lesser place, but the goal is still to be the most honored! Strange. Is it that, in the process of lowering ourselves, even with ulterior motives in mind, we are changed a bit? Is it simply a matter of being changed through simple obedience?
• Then he turns to the party-giver. Vs 12ff- This lesson: Don’t invite the people you really want to come. What a drag. The goal in giving a party, according to Jesus, is the reward you get later from the Big Host. Not how we think of parties, dinners.
• So he really messes with our motivations and reasons for living the way we do each day. Every action, every needs to be considered. He’s the one who gives us the honor we need; the reward we need. Do we settle for much less than what the Big Host wants to give? - Our rewards and goals are cheap compared to God’s.