In our Luke 14 text we concentrated on yesterday in worship, Jesus urges countercultural behavior at the table. If we would be his followers, we must eat and drink as he ate and drank. As we gather around the table with Jesus, we watch him…to learn, to imitate, to act as he did. Don’t forget that he is watching us as well! Jesus can sometimes be an upsetting and difficult guest. Rules within the Kingdom of God are often different from those by which the world lives. Those whom we place on top, sometimes end up on the bottom. Those whom we regard as being on the bottom, often end up on top. Jesus upsets our values with his Kingdom of God values!
Maybe we are prone to forget that. On a Sunday in worship, we may too often look to Jesus to affirm what we think is “the” way to live. Then he surprises us with his way to live. People can mistakenly think of Jesus as their little buddy who agrees with them. Hmm…but then comes Jesus in all his prickly difference. In Luke 14 Jesus points us in another direction. Think of the Bible as one long story of “You have heard it said, but I say to you” sort of narrative.
How different are the ways of Jesus from our ways? How big of a gap exists between his system of values and ours? Those whom we fight to sit next to at dinner, Jesus has little use for. Those whom we exclude from our economy, our educational mechanism, our systems of health care, and even our churches, are the ones whom Jesus invites to a great banquet where the poor, the maimed, the blind, and the lame sit at the head table for free!
The great Gospel promise is this: Jesus comes to us. He puts bread into our empty hands. He fills us with food for the abundant life. Then he urges us to go and invite others to his great banquet called life everlasting. It’s a pretty amazing, don’t you agree?
Peace, Pastor Gary