Humble and Life-Changing

July 18th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Ben Lamb

Today’s scripture: Luke 14:12-24 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

Today’s reading reminded me of something I saw on the Carol Burnett Show years ago. During the Q & A opening section, Carol stopped the show, and said she just spotted someone. She stated that he was one of the greatest actors in the world and went on to say several other highly complementary things about the man. Then she asked Sir Laurence Olivier to stand up and take a bow. As the spotlights and cameras zeroed in on him and the studio audience gave him a standing ovation, the aging, world-famous actor looked slightly embarrassed as he stood and gave a quick polite wave to the crowd and sat back down.

Sir Laurence undoubtedly could have arranged to be a guest on the show and be on stage from the very beginning. Instead, he chose to sit in a studio seat as a regular audience member. When his status as a VIP was recognized, he received not only special recognition, but his humility was made known as well.

This sounds all well and good for someone who’s already going to be noticed no matter where he goes. But what about the average dude who’s not world famous? What’s wrong with throwing in some dog-eat-dog mentality in the workplace, or reminding your sweetheart twenty times that it was you who bought dinner? Well…

What if God had a designer label plastered across every sunset, “This Sunset® brought to you by God”? What if Jesus played a recording in your ears fourteen hours every day of each miracle he performed during his ministry on earth? Wouldn’t you get a wee bit tired of hearing it (though still remain grateful)? Let’s see if the dictionary can help figure out a vocabulary word for today.

Boastful? No, that won’t work. Humble? Yes; HUMBLE is a very good word. Sort of takes some getting used to for me, though, I hate to admit.

The “free dinner” portion of this reading makes me both happy and sad. I realize Jesus is likely stating an analogy about salvation being free and about the fact that many people still refuse to accept God’s invitation to accept it.

I think I’ve always assumed that the man who was offering the dinner made sure the people being invited were fully aware of how sumptuous the dinner was going to be. But while reading the passage now, I notice that the manner of presentation is not stated. Was there anything about the way the man told his guests that left them unaware of what they were missing out on?

In a similar way, is there anything about the way we tell the people about Jesus that makes them less than fully aware about how life-changing it really is to be one of his followers?

Thought for the day:  Jesus, remind me to recall your constant example of humility so I don’t end up humiliating myself and your name. May I also be mindful of telling others the way in which being a follower of you has been a life-altering experience for me.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading.  If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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