For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 14:11
Are you seated at the table of a great man? Do not be greedy at and do not say, "There is certainly much upon it! ( Sirach 31:12 ). The meal scene throughout the chapters of the third gospel is a significant presentation of the story of Jesus. The seating arrangement during the first century of the ancient Jewish, Greek and Romans always highlighted the status of the guests and the control over the banquet by the host.
Jesus in the gospel of Luke 14:1-14 is at a prominent, distinguished Pharisee's house. It's always the host in control of the banquet. Here, Jesus asks the experts in the law and the Pharisees about "Is it lawful to cure people on the Sabbath or not?" After healing the man with edema and sending him away, he asked another question: "If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a Sabbath day?"
On several occasions Jesus healed someone on a Sabbath. He wasn't violating any law. He came in order to fulfil the law. He had come to act against the excessively or hypocritically pious Pharisees' interpretation of the law. Since animals had a lot of importance in the agricultural society of the Jews, religious rules allow to help animals on the Sabbath, then it should definitely allow helping people too.
What would be my take away from this scene? If I have the capacity to help I should help transcending beyond colour, creed, status, wealth, disease and any other societal norms and values.
Humility and hospitality advice extend past the wisdom book of the Jews and table etiquette in Sirach 31:12-18. Jesus advices the guest to take a seat which is humble and an advice to the host for inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind, so that the host could be blessed and will be paid at the resurrection of the righteous. To be a follower of Christ, humility is key. If I want to be the follower, disciple of Christ, I need to turn away from Satan's number one sin, pride and be humble. Humility is not being a door mat. The saints have taught us, for the love of Christ they could have done things, said or gave a fitting reply in their power, however, they chose to be humble for the love of Christ.
Humility will come into practice and with these small practices in everyday life, we can choose humility in thoughts, words and deeds for the love of Christ.
Reflection on Luke 14:1-14 by Shalley Fernandes.