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Humility and Hospitality

7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


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7-11. a parable—showing that His design was not so much to inculcate mere politeness or good manners, as underneath this to teach something deeper (Lu 14:11).

chief rooms—principal seats, in the middle part of the couch on which they reclined at meals, esteemed the most honorable.

8. wedding—and seating thyself at the wedding feast. Our Lord avoids the appearance of personality by this delicate allusion to a different kind of entertainment than this of his host [Bengel].

9. the lowest—not a lower merely [Bengel].

with shame—"To be lowest is only ignominious to him who affects the highest" [Bengel].

10. Friend—said to the modest guest only, not the proud one (Lu 14:9) [Bengel].

worship—honor. The whole of this is but a reproduction of Pr 25:6, 7. But it was reserved for the matchless Teacher to utter articulately, and apply to the regulation of the minutest features of social life, such great laws of the Kingdom of God, as that of Lu 14:11.

11. whosoever, &c.—couching them in a chaste simplicity and proverbial terseness of style which makes them "apples of gold in a setting of silver." (See on Lu 18:14).

12-14. call not thy friends—Jesus certainly did not mean us to dispense with the duties of ordinary fellowship, but, remitting these to their proper place, inculcates what is better [Bengel].

lest … a recompense be given thee—a fear the world is not afflicted with [Bengel]. The meaning, however, is that no exercise of principle is involved in it, as selfishness itself will suffice to prompt to it (Mt 5:46, 47).

13. call the poor—"Such God Himself calls" (Lu 14:21) [Bengel].

14. blessed—acting from disinterested, god-like compassion for the wretched.




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