Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 14:11
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11
This is the concluding verse of Jesus’ Parable of the Wedding Feast. The parable was given to some invited guests who came together on the Sabbath to break bread. Jesus started this story after He noticed each of them was choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.” Luke 14:7-10.
Jesus, in this parable uses the occasion of a wedding feast as an example. This fit perfectly based on what He had observed. He is laying out the idea that we should be humble in any situation we find ourselves in. He starts off by saying when we are invited somewhere, the example being a wedding feast, we are not to take any place of honor when we seat ourselves at the table. In fact, we are to take the least honorable seat. For it is better that we be invited to take a higher seat of honor, then to be told to take a lesser place of honor.
Now, what is interesting here is that the place He was invited to would be the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees. Not just a Pharisee, but one of their leaders. It was an honor to be invited to break bread with Jewish leaders, and all those who came were seeking out the best seats in order to feel a degree of importance. This is a universal principle. Men will always endeavor to bring down those who attempt to exalt themselves above what they believe they deserve. God also works in a similar way. In Matthew we read, “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12. God will exalt or honor those who are truly humble and that seeks a less honorable position among people. This is how we, as Christians, should act. We are all equal in the sight of God, and we should see ourselves in the same way. And the term ‘leaders’ was claimed by Jewish leaders who saw themselves in a higher order who should go before others and claim the right to control them.
We as Christians are never to exalt ourselves above others, thinking that we are better than anyone else. We may occasionally need to correct someone who is in error, but never in a way that pushes them down and ultimately tries to make us superior. Humility can be a difficult thing to show, but it is imperative that we do. Paul worded this well when he said, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:12-14. We are to be in unity with all Christians, not trying to show how much more exalted or important we are. And no matter what position we hold in our work environment or in the church, we must not see ourselves as better or more important then anyone else. For remember the words of Jesus, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.