Luke 14:1-14 Saturday, 25 April 2020
“…and he who humbles will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11
Humility is the mark of a disciple of Christ. God has always been opposed to the proud. Pride was the root cause of the fall of man—when the deceiver offered the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Adam and Eve fell! Ever since the human character is corrupted with pride in various form! Lust is pride as it focuses on oneself; anger is pride – mostly erupting when one’s ego is hurt. Indulgence is pride trying to feed the self; covetousness is pride trying to gratify the desire of comfort in wealth! When Jesus took human form that was the true mark of humility –God becoming human! However many people around Jesus were unable to conceive Him as Emmanuel; rather a rebellious character constantly breaking the Sabbath laws. What a contrast it is!! He who made the Law, will He break it Himself? The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were unable to see the divine in Jesus; instead, they saw another Jew trying to break the law, rebelling against the religious leaders. Right from the time of the Fall, the nature of man has not changed. God has been trying to deal with pride in man’s heart from time to time! Deut. 8:2 “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, the He might humble you, testing to know what was in your heart.....“ 1 Peter 5:6: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time...
In order to drive home the truth of being humble, Jesus uses an occasion when a prominent Pharisee invited Him for food. In Vs.1 it is written that they were watching Him closely. The word used for “watching“ in Greek is “paratereo“, meaning “to observe a person insidiously – cunning/subtle/ crafty etc.“ So the company of Pharisees had pre-planned to trap Jesus if He did anything to violate the Rabbinical laws of Sabbath – for God did not prohibit doing a good deed on Sabbath. God only told His people to observe the sabbath as a day of rest, to help them focus on God, not on themselves. Without understanding the intent, they resorted to observing that command by its letter, contrarily focussing on themselves rather than God. There was a man with dropsy (in modern time called edema), a fluid collection in some parts of the body with an underlying root cause. The sick person must also have been a Pharisee, invited by the host. They were cunningly waiting to see what Jesus would do with this man. The Master, as always, felt compassion on the sickly man. Knowing the intent of the heart of his host and his friends, Jesus asked them whether they would rescue their son or ox that fell into a well. The Bible states that all of them sat quietly. Jesus took hold of the sick man and healed him. Even these days when sickness is very common due to the virus infection, many are in a desperate situation where they have nothing else to look to; but that Jesus the Healer would come with a heart of compassion and will draw them to Him and heal them. Let us trust Him and draw near to Him by submitting our proud heart to the lordship of Jesus Christ. The first thing Jesus came against was pride manifested through their religiosity! Are we proud too, through a false concept of religion? Let us humble!! The next thing Jesus came against was pride manifested through their desire to have position!! Jesus found people trying to select a prominent seat, maybe close to the host!! They wanted to be noticed – they carried in their hearts a kind of pride that in their own evaluation they need to be honoured above others!! Jesus told them that if you are invited to a feast, choose the last seat so that the host may later request you to be seated in a prominent place thereby honouring you! It is very important to note that Jesus used a public meeting to talk to them and expose the pride in their hearts. In verse 11 Jesus said: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles will be exalted.“ This is a principle of the Kingdom of God. The second form of pride that Jesus exposed was the quest for a position! Can we offer ourselves to Jesus the Master, as a slave so that He can honour us by exalting us?
Think on it: “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. For this reason, God highly exalted Him....“ Philippians 2:8-9