Blessed to Be a Blessing
Topic: Blessing Passage: Luke 14:1–14:14
This passage is is an account of a Sabbath day meal that Jesus shared with a group of Pharisees. This was not a friendly dinner party, however--these religious leaders were using this opportunity to scrutinize Jesus, to see if they could catch him breaking one of their rules for righteous living.
Jesus turned the tables on his hosts, though; he was scutinizing them, too, and he pointed out that their rules were out of line with God's rules for how we should live and how we should treat those around us. First, he healed a man--in violation of the Pharisees' rules against doing work on the Sabbath, but in accord with God's rule about showing mercy to people who are suffering. Then, as they were taking their seats at the table he criticized them for their status-seeking behaviour. He called them to invite the poor, the sick and the outcast to their banquets, instead of the rich and famous; in this way, they could receive something much more valuable than status--God's blessing.
It can be easy to criticize the Pharisees in this story, but what rules do we live by that are out of line with God's rules? Do we spend more time and effort trying to be "in with the in crowd" than we spend helping those who are in need, outcast, or afflicted? What would Jesus say to us if we invited him to dinner?
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