Luke 14 Shame and Honor
How do you handle shame and the contrasting character quality of honor? Jesus knows his audience pretty well. He observes, interprets, and then applies principles that we might learn. Invited to a dinner party, he notices how people jostle to sit closest to the host. He notices some take the best seats “up front and center.” How often do we see that in church or at a function we attend? It seems that we want to take in some of the glitter and glam of the host so we can say to another tomorrow; I sat near so and so. It is the same today as it was in the day of Jesus, so he used that occasion to teach a parable—an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
The scene is a wedding feast with many guests, and after hors ‘doeveres, the maitre d’ announces that dinner is served. Jesus notices that they jockey for the places of honor. With a red face, some are caught in the most honored seat and therefore must move to the back while the late arriving honored guest gets to sit in that seat up front. How embarrassing!
Jesus uses this to remind us that we pride ourselves on our “position.” Our actions speak louder than words.