This man was always working! On this occasion, He had been invited to a wedding. We don’t know who the groom and bride were but perhaps they were some of His followers. Maybe they wanted Jesus to speak, turn water into wine, as the news had come to them about the previous wedding, or maybe they just loved Jesus and wanted His company! Jesus on the other hand, always found a teaching opportunity!
Phil had come and found the seat closer to the bride and groom. It was one of the places of honor. His thinking was that since his family was the most important people in town, the hosts would be honored to have them sit close by! Philesia also came and found the best looking table. She knew that there couldn’t be anyone more special to the couple as she was! She had baked the best cake there ever was for them! Certainly everyone should know this! maybe there would be a toast offered for her!
Jesus could not help but notice all this! He thought this would be an excellent kingdom teaching moment! Not only it would provide a piece of wisdom useful for life but it would also illustrate how the Kingdom of God works. He said: When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited as well and whoever invited the two of you, might ask for your seat to give to the one he considers to be of more importance and you would be embarrassed.
You should find the least important place instead, for if your host sees you, He might move you to a higher honorary place and then you would have found honor with the rest of the guests. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”
By this time, the groom and the bride were listening to His teachings for His speech had such power that it was hard not to pay attention. Jesus turned to them and said: ” When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment”
“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous”
Our human nature desires those places of importance. We want to be noticed, recognized! We want the places of honor! We also want “the important people” to come to our gatherings, even if just to say that they have entered into our houses. Somehow we think that their importance will lift us up to a higher level. Jesus was saying, when you are doing these things, your heart does not belong to Me and you are still your old self.
When you are in the business of pleasing God and have given your heart to Me; He is saying, the importance that people gives you is not of concern to you. The importance that you give to other people is also not in the basis of who they are in this world but on the basis of how they are important to God. They are all important for “I died for all of them”
All our deeds will be evaluated and judged at the resurrection of the righteous. This is where our motives will be shown and Jesus who is the perfect judge will reward or reprimand us even though we think that we are doing things in His name sometimes. We must evaluate our hearts to see if what we do is for God or for ourselves. When we find ourselves searching to be recognized and placing emphasis on people because of their status, it should be a clear sign to us that we are not walking God’s way and that we really need change.
Luke 9:23 says: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” Mark 8:35 also says: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” and Galatians 5:24 also says: “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”
You see, what Jesus is saying is that in our desire to do His will, we will not care about becoming our idea of self but will allow Him to decide His idea of us. Once we lay down our life for His will, His perfection would be found for us! Since God is our Creator, who He made us is the main and grandest way we should aspire to become.