8 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Joshua 3:1-4:24
Luke 14:7-35
Psalm 80:1-19
Proverbs 12:27-28 

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Luke 14:11 (NLT): “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In our Bible reading for today, we came across instructions from Jesus that calls upon us to humble ourselves. Humility is a major theme in Scripture. Jesus humbled Himself (Philippians 2:5-11), and we are called to do the same.

In this morning’s reading, we are given one of the many benefits of humbling ourselves. We are told that it will spare us embarrassment and may set us up to be honored.

In Luke 14:7, Jesus acknowledged that it is within the human heart to exalt ourselves. We often think much too highly of ourselves and desire for others to do the same.

Luke 14:7 (NLT): “When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice:”

In the following verses (Luke 14:8-10), Jesus gave some simple instruction. He told us that when there is an opportunity to honor ourselves, don’t do it. Always take the option that involves humbling ourselves. 

The benefit? If we honor ourselves, we risk being embarrassed in front of others by someone who brings us back to reality.

Luke 14:9 (NLT): “The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!”

But, if we are not full of ourselves and are willing to humble ourselves, then we may experience the joy of being honored.

Luke 14:10 (NLT): “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.”

But, get this point! If, in humbling ourselves, we are hoping to be honored (because our heart is filled with pride), then there will be no joy if we aren’t honored. As always, Jesus is addressing the heart. Ultimately, He isn’t telling us how to set ourselves up to get an inflated ego. He’s telling us that there are benefits to having a truly humble heart.

But,, get this! After giving this instruction, he follows up with some more instructions. He clarifies that those who invited the guests to the gathering would be blessed in Heaven if they didn’t choose the folks who would be able to repay their kind gesture. Instead, they would be blessed if they invited those who others wouldn’t invite.

Luke 14:12-14 (NLT): “Then he turned to his host. ‘When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,’ he said, ‘don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.’”

If we follow Jesus’ line of reasoning, we won’t exalt ourselves when meeting with others. We might even spend time with those who others would look down upon. And when we are invited to spend time with those deemed more prestigious, we might consider honoring the lowly by kindly refusing the gesture and remaining with those who others might not highly regard.

How is your heart? Are you full of yourself, or are you following Jesus’ example by being a humble, servant-hearted friend to those around you, especially those who society overlooks? Today is a new day. Why not ask the Lord to do a work in your heart to enable you to honor someone today by making it clear that you value them and the time you are spending with them. 

Don’t make it about yourself. Make today about others.

Luke 14:11 (NLT): “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash