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hello hello anyone here you must be wally hi wally I’m steve yeah I’m looking for something to help me I don’t know just tell some of my friends about Jesus and invite them into his family and yeah you do have a lot of stuff here I see that okay yeah I’ll just look around and thanks for spiritual laws no that’s kind of handy it’s small I could carry one in my pocket and man I could get a whole stack of them and leave them at every restaurant I go to and leave them on my friend’s cars and I don’t know that word law though kind of turns me off I I’m not sure I want to use that a dvd of the Jesus movie perfect I could get a stack of these and give them as gifts to my family and my friends and surely if they watch the movie they would want to follow him I don’t know but what if they don’t watch it man this looks like fire and brimstone and people screaming and crying what are you supposed to do with that scare the hell out of people

scofield study bible now that’s a big bible surely if I would buy one of these and give it to my friend they would read it and hopefully they would follow Jesus but oh I don’t want to buy that that’s too expensive what’s this a megaphone I could stand on the street corners and say Jesus is the only way come follow Jesus I can tell you all about him I don’t know that’s not really my style either hey wally can you help me out a little bit here of all these gadgets that you’ve got which has been the most effective like over the years what has the best track record the what that table over there this but it’s just a table yeah you’re right Jesus used it I guess if it’s good enough for him it could be good enough for me but you know wally I’ve got my own table I don’t really need to buy your table I’ve got one in my room my dining room and there’s tables at the restaurants where I go hey thanks for the idea wally and he’s right Jesus had meals with

people he didn’t plan programs and run events and have workshops and seminars and conferences and projects he just shared meals not that meals themselves save people but a meal becomes an opportunity to have a conversation to be real to open up about ourselves and learn about the person across the table and over time those conversations can lead into something deeper and so we have this series building a bigger table and for weeks now we’ve been looking in the book of luke those different times when Jesus had a meal with someone he sat down he shared a meal he had food he was in someone’s home or on them on the mountainside eating with someone and it’s no different today we’re going to be in luke chapter 14 and he has a meal with some pharisees again we talked about another one of those last week and if you’d like to join me we’ll be in chapter 14 of luke and I’m calling it Jesus dinner

etiquette because he does most of the talking and he actually seems to kind of give a corrective he’s going to give a word to the host to the guests he’s going to say something about the seating arrangement this is Jesus dinner etiquette and when we talk about Jesus table I don’t want you to think about heaven I don’t think Jesus was as concerned about getting us into heaven as getting heaven into us like learning how to live in his kingdom with him every day here in this life before the next he said the kingdom of heaven is at hand it’s it’s it’s accessible it’s right here there’s that invitation in in revelation 3. I stand at the door and knock and if you open the door I’ll come in and dine with you we’ll enjoy a meal together give us today our daily bread Jesus taught us to pray or david from the psalms you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies now that wouldn’t be in heaven would it it’s a picture of of life with

Jesus now all that’s available to us a feast if we just take advantage of it you might think of of it this way Jesus setting up a huge banquet table out in the lobby just filled with all kinds of food and saying I’m ready you can eat at my table anytime or maybe a better illustration would be a catering truck that follows you all throughout your day and your week and at any moment on tuesday morning when things are hectic at the office and you’re just filled with worry and anxiety Jesus says stop can we push the pause button let’s have a meal together feast on what I have for you you don’t have to live in worry and anxiety and frustration I can give you peace right now thursday afternoon when the kids are getting hungry and you’re just climbing the wall and frustrated with with all of them Jesus says what catering trucks here let’s have a feast together that’s the image that I think Jesus would want us to understand as as we look at this

text together Jesus table so he’s going to teach a couple of things in his etiquette about what not to do and then a couple of things about what to do the first not is it’s not about being a rule follower here’s our text one sabbath when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent pharisee he was being carefully watched there in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body your text might use the word dropsy or edema it’s the swelling large swelling of the legs and arms Jesus asked the pharisees and experts in the law is it lawful to heal on the sabbath or not but they remain silent so taking a hold of the man he healed him and sent him on his way here’s another one of those sabbath stories we’ve come across many of those in luke already there was the time when Jesus healed the the man with the withered hand another sabbath when he healed a woman who had been crippled for 18 years there was

another sabbath when the disciples were picking the grain and eating them and the pharisees were so good as you know we’ve said many times about defining rules on how to keep the sabbath and what you can and can’t do even in last week’s story pastor dan shared with us how the pharisees were like hypocrites Jesus called them you’re good at cleaning the outside of the cup but inside you’re full of hypocrisy you don’t even follow your own rules our text says that he went to eat at the home of a prominent pharisee perhaps this was the leader of the pharisees in that region and then there were experts of the law there and this man who was sick right in front of Jesus now we don’t have pictures from back then but this as best we know this is how the pharisees would dress they were very proper there was a something that they had to wear and around their neck and on their head and these were religious men who were

proper and can you imagine setting up this meal if you’re the lead pharisee of course your home is very proper everything is set in its place because you obviously think that’s how you please God is doing everything according to the rules so all guys dress like this and maybe there’s the host and then the ones next to him and other seats but it becomes apparent when they invite Jesus that there’s a certain seat for Jesus and the text says right in front of him is this man who is sick it’s a setup I don’t think they would have invited this guy for any other reason and they probably wouldn’t have touched him I don’t know how he got there if someone else helped him or if he kind of stumbled his way into this house but somehow the pharisees had told him you come to our house for this meal and then they sat Jesus right across from him and it’s quiet and if our tech our english text doesn’t say this but if you were able to look at the

original in verse 3 it literally says Jesus answered saying no they didn’t ask a question in fact they were afraid to ask the question in fact Jesus asks the very question that they were trying to ask of him is it lawful to heal on the sabbath or not that’s kind of like the elephant in the room right and they’re all watching to see will he heal him or not what will he do with this man who is sick Jesus answered them saying is it lawful to heal on the sabbath and again they’re silent so the text says he reaches a cross touches this sick person on a sabbath which would they probably thought oh that would contaminate him right right away just touching him and he heals him and then extends him out the door he sent him away I think Jesus was saying you don’t need to hang out with these legalists go be free go enjoy your life and besides I’ve got some things to say to these guys that don’t don’t pertain to you anyway and then he said to

them if one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the sabbath day will you not immediately pull it out and they had nothing to say you know why they were caught he he had them right where he wanted them you put these rules together about what’s right and what’s wrong on the sabbath but you won’t even follow your own rules you say it’s work to pull someone out of a well but if your son fell in the well wouldn’t you pull him out even if it was the sabbath they were quiet Jesus is reminding us that rule following is not the way in his kingdom it’s not about finding the right rules how much should I read the bible or pray or what should I wear or how much should I give to the church or how should I spend my time the problem with rules is as soon as we get our list together of who we think is the ideal christian then we can start holding it up and figuring who’s in and who’s out according to my rules and we tend to

become legalistic which makes us hypocritical because we’re always the exception of our own rule like well that’s for them but I don’t need to follow that today or this week and God wants to be us to be free from that not it’s not that the bible doesn’t have rules but the rules are not to get to God or to impress God Jesus is saying if you want to follow my way here’s how you should live and we follow the rules not because we have to but because we want to we’ve discovered that his way is the best way I do trust him and so I want to follow what he says and besides living with rules being a rule person I don’t know it makes me too much like a pharisee and honestly when I look back on quite a few years of my life I feel like that was me I would have been I would have made a good pharisee maybe some of you as as well would say the same thing we kind of had our our rules and our idea of this is what a christian should look like

and obviously this is what they don’t look like well next Jesus gives a word about not promoting ourselves and this is a word to the guests look at what he notices they are picking the places of honor at the table he told them this parable when someone invites you to a wedding feast do not take the place of honor for the person more distinguished than you may have been invited and if so the host who invited both of you will come and say to you give this person your seat and then humiliated you’ll have to take the least important place but when you’re invited take the lowest place so that when your host comes he will say to you friend move up to a better place then you’ll be honored in the presence of all the other guests for those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted now I don’t think in our culture we can quite grasp the significance of this because we have dinners and and

meals and you know we just kind of let people sit where we want to sit maybe the only uh illustration that would be applicable in our culture is at a wedding there’s certain places where you have this head table and this is the chart if you want to know this is where you’re supposed to seat people at your head table but in their culture they had it all figured out it had to do with honor I remember talking with someone who had been a part of a of a meeting in a conference room in an asian culture and he said they spent the better part of an hour the first hour adjusting the heights of the chairs and moving chairs around so that everyone’s head would be exactly the same height then no one would be honored too much or dishonored too much it’s an honor culture that’s like what Jesus is dealing with here and he’s not saying that we can never show someone honor or give someone the honored seat what he’s talking about is this

attitude of presumptuousness I deserve that seat I should be honored and he’s saying don’t go there look at look at the emphasis here those who exalt themselves will be humbled but those who humble themselves will be exalted so remember the picture of the pharisees and their proper garb picture them coming into this dinner and they walk into the house and they all know this certain seed is the seat of the host the prominent leader of the pharisees he would sit here and then the person to his right and his left would be the next most important and then if they had other tables or couches or however they sat they all knew which were the honored places and generally the farther away from the host you sat the less important you were so can you kind of see these distinguished people walking in and kind of making their way close to the to the host’s table and you know maybe maybe just putting a hand on the chair like just I’m

having conversation but I’ve got my hand on the chair just signaling I’m going to sit here I’m I’m sure this one belongs to me not you right or kind of elbowing someone and pushing them aside and moving in and like I’m sure that this is my chair or maybe even sitting down and presumptuously taking seats and the text says Jesus noticed this this is what was going on between them as they were finding their seats what he says to them about not honoring yourself or exalting yourself they would have known from their old testament studies proverbs 27 let someone else praise you and not your own mouth an outsider and not your own lips proverbs 16 pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall paul continues to teach that in the new testament in romans 12. for by the grace given me I say to every one of you do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober

judgment in accordance with the measure of grace God has given you now that doesn’t mean that we should speak badly about ourselves like oh I’m a nothing I can’t do anything both extremes are wrong I’m great I can do everything great or I’m nothing and you shouldn’t even talk to me because in both cases where is our focus it’s on us right Jesus is saying don’t think first of yourself this would be what paul was teaching in philippians 2. don’t act out of selfish ambition or conceit instead humbly think of others as better than yourselves how do we do that so you spend time with someone and you begin to focus on them you ask them questions you don’t talk about yourself unless they ask where should we go out to eat where would you like to eat what would you like to do this afternoon or this evening see for Jesus it comes naturally just to think of others but for us it’s the reverse isn’t it what’s natural is that we think

of ourselves first and we want to tell people about our accomplishments why probably to try to impress them or manage their impression of us we want to tell someone if we’ve done an act of kindness or service that they don’t know about everything in us screams to tell them this is what I did for you I want you to know what picture do you have on facebook is it how you look right now or how you looked five or ten or twenty years ago right do we wanna put we wanna put our best face forward what about when we’re driving and we cut in front of someone there’s a little space right there and and even our actions and our driving can be presumptuous like that’s my space I deserve to be ahead of you getting to work to or to my appointment is more important than whatever whatever you’re doing and this ugly attitude shows up all over the place and if we want to practice a discipline this week on this one when you’re in

conversation with people try not talking about yourself unless they ask just continue to focus on them give them your undivided attention ask them questions learn about them and let’s be less concerned about managing other’s impression of us so there’s been a couple of things negative things at Jesus table it’s not about being a rule follower it’s not about self-promotion but it is about living generously this word he gives it says to the host so this is to the prominent pharisee Jesus said to his host when you give a luncheon or a dinner do not invite your friends your brothers your sisters your relatives or your rich neighbors if you do they may invite you back and so you’ll be repaid but when you give a banquet invite the poor the crippled the lame the blind and you’ll be blessed although you cannot they cannot repay you you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous now let me I want to put your heart at ease I’m I’m quite sure

I’m I’m 100 sure that Jesus is not saying we can’t ever invite our family for a meal you can’t eat with your grandparents or your grandkids or your friends he’s not saying that the bible even says anyone who does not provide for relatives and especially for his own household has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever but what Jesus is talking about is that natural tendency to play it safe to stay with people that are like us when’s the last time someone sat at your dining table is not a relative but they have a different skin color than you do or ethnic background than you do or a different socio-economic status than yours or different theological beliefs or different political beliefs Jesus wants us to get out of that comfort zone and open up our hearts and our tables and our lives to those around us who may be different than us and I see something here in this part of the text where Jesus once again notices a heart issue they’ll

invite you back you will be repaid they cannot repay you will be repaid Jesus is sensing that part of the reason they’re only inviting others is that there it’s a reciprocal relationship you do I do this for you you do this for me and he’s inviting them or at least teaching them at his table in his kingdom we live way more generously than that now you know it’s I think it’s almost ironic that one of the people that he said they should have been inviting was at their table a few minutes earlier and then he’s gone he wasn’t really invited to stay for a meal he was the object lesson to try to trap Jesus right and when I’m talking about generosity especially to those uh in need I’m not thinking primarily of going down to a homeless shelter and serving them a meal which is a nice thing to do and maybe many of us I’ve done that maybe many of us have done that do you know what we’re saying when we do that you are needy I am not you need me to serve you but

I don’t need you to serve me it’s way different when you sit down and share a meal across the table than being the one up here serving the one down there why does Jesus want us to live generously well several reasons come to my mind one would be that it reminds us that all the resources we’ve been given we’re simply managers we’re stewards of those things they’re not ours for a few years we get to manage those they’re really gods another reason might be that he wants the recipients of our generosity to get a picture of God first john 3 says in one of the paraphrases consider the kind of extravagant love the father has lavished on us that we would be called children of God so we’re generous with people and they say where did that come from why was she so generous why was he I wonder if God is like that being generous might help us to become less dependent on our stuff and our self and our sufficiency being generous

reminds us how much God cares for the outsiders the ones that generally aren’t able to care for themselves and often he wants to use those of us who have resources to provide for those who don’t I wonder if another reason he wants us to be generous with poor people is because he might say these are my people the bible says Jesus became poor he left all of the glory and the privileges in heaven to come down to be among us these are my people the bible says if you give to the poor you lend to the lord you know Jesus was accused of being a friend of sinners how many of us are ever accused of that by the way thankfully you don’t need any of those gadgets to be a generous person and share Jesus with your friends a table will do just fine your dining table the table at the coffee shop the table at the restaurant can you imagine inviting someone this week to a meal that you you know they’ll never invite you back they don’t have

the means or they would never even think of that and if you invite them into your home and they offer to clean up the kitchen let them or are you too proud to be served by your guests when is the last time you threw a party for someone you don’t know very well a waiter or a waitress maybe a paper boy someone who comes to clint clean your house someone who does your dry cleaning someone who does fixes your latte on the way to work or mows your lawn whoever these people that we rub shoulders with the checker at the grocery store what would it look like to just be extravagant with them well the next word in this story that Jesus has is a word about welcoming outsiders and it’s a word to one of the guests in verse 14 Jesus had said just said hey if you invite outsiders you will be blessed and this courageous pharisee speaks up it’s the only in the way luke records this story it’s the only time any of the pharisees said

anything in this whole section and I can see him kind of raising his hand and puffing his chest out a little bit and saying you know well blessed are those who eat in the feast of the kingdom and what this is code let me unpack it for you what he’s really saying is we all know that when the end of time comes there will be what some call a messianic banquet a banquet put on the messiah who’s coming to save all of us jews and we all know that all of us jews will be the ones to be at the table sitting with the messiah we’re we’re blessed too Jesus you just said we’re blessed if we invite the outsiders but aren’t we also the blessed ones now this idea of a messianic banquet you could trace clear back to the the in the beginning in in genesis and in the beginning of the bible God leading them into the promised land it’ll be a land flowing with milk and honey there’s this picture of food um there’s a there’s a text in um isaiah on this mountain

the lord almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples a banquet of aged wine the best of the meats the finest of of wines there’s the passover meal celebrated every year there’s meals in the new testament there’s Jesus at the last supper it’s just so ingrained that you think of God you think of a meal that he would invite us to his table and so it doesn’t surprise us that this brave pharisee would say aren’t we all blessed too and Jesus replied a certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests at the time of the banquet he sent his servants to tell those who had been invited come now for everything is ready let me put a pause on there and tell you how their culture worked it’s a little bit like save the date cards today you would decide you’re going to have a banquet and you would send out to your invite list the announcement we’re going to have a banquet but it didn’t include the date it was it was

just putting you on notice that you are the you’re on the invite list and when the banquet’s ready we’ll come back and tell you but they alike begin to make excuses the first one said I’ve just bought a field and I must go and see it please excuse me and another one said I just bought five yoke of oxen and I’m on my way to try them out please excuse me and still another said I just got married I can’t come and the master told his servant he came when the servant came back and reported this the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant go out quickly into the streets and and the alleys of the town and bring in the poor the crippled the blind and the lame sir he said what you’ve orders been done we we already thought of that and we did that already and there’s still room then the master told his servant go out to the roads in the country lanes and compel them to come in so that my house will be full I tell you not one of

those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet ouch I think every pharisee in the room understood that Jesus was talking about them they are the invited ones they were proud of it they knew they were the invited ones they were anticipating that day when they would be the invited ones around God’s final table and Jesus is saying it won’t be you guys not everyone who is invited will be there the crippled the lame the blind the poor they’re the ones that will invite and they’ll come and do you know why do you know why we invite them and why Jesus wants us to invite them because we are they that’s the only way to get into the kingdom of God to humble ourselves to recognize that I can’t do life on my on my own I’m poor I’m needy I need Jesus I need him to save me and forgive me and free me and help me and until we can become like those we won’t enter the kingdom of heaven we won’t experience the life that he came to

give us these are the kind of people that we shouldn’t be inviting to our meals and these are the kind of people that share in God’s meal every day it says go compel them to come do you know why I think because they can’t believe they’re invited like no he doesn’t want me does he I’ve got this this limp I I’m so imperfect I’m so poor he doesn’t invite me at his table does he yes it says compel them he does the meal is set and you’re the invited guest and he does want you to come if we’re not feasting at his table it’s not his fault just because you’re invited doesn’t mean you’ll experience the banquet are you feasting at Jesus table daily have you found your way into the Jesus family and decided to follow him and be on hit on mission with him and in our world we’re all invited but it doesn’t mean we’ll experience the banquet we have to accept the invitation put aside those lame excuses and say okay I’m coming I would like to be a part of this

last week pastor dan shared a little story from tony campolo’s life he was a sociologist preacher he writes a story in the book the kingdom of God is like a party about a time when he was in hawaii and he was there for a number of days and it was like the middle of the night and he was awake and kind of hungry and so he left his room and went down some side alley and he found a little diner that was open 3 30 in the morning and he went in no one’s in there he sits at the at the up at the bar and pretty soon this big fat guy came and how can I help you and he’s wiping his hands on his dirty apron tony orders a coffee and a donut and the guy just grabs the donut with his hands and hands it to him and tony says he’s he’s drinking his coffee and eating his donut when all of a sudden some women start coming in eight or nine prostitutes 3 30 in the morning and it’s a small place so some of them are sitting on his right and some are sitting on

his left and he said the what they were talking about on the language they were using made me very uncomfortable but then I heard one of them on my right say something about hey and tomorrow’s my birthday I’ll be 39 and someone over here said yeah what’s it to you like what’s the big deal what do you expect us to do throw you a party or something and it gave tony an idea he waited until the women left and then he called the guy back from behind the counter and found out his name was harry hey harry who is this woman over here to my right oh that’s agnes she’s in here every night he said did you know that agnes said tomorrow’s her 39th birthday and she’s never had a birthday party what do you say we throw her a birthday party he kind of smiled he calls back to his wife behind the counter she’s in the back cooking hey honey there’s this guy out here that wants to throw a party for agnes tomorrow what do you say and

she comes out all smiles and tony says all right I’ll get the decorations I’ll pick up the cake and harry says no no I got the cake I’ll bake her a cake and so the next night 2 30 in the morning tony campolo walks back into this diner he’s got crepe paper and he’s decorating and he’s got this cardboard sign that says happy birthday agnes and right on cue at 3 30 she walks in the door and when she walks in he’s got everybody else ready to say happy birthday agnes and she’s just shocked she’s stunned she stands there and and then they begin to sing the song happy birthday to you and they get to the end and happy birthday dear agnes happy birthday to you and harry comes out with a cake with candles and she’s crying and he hands it to her and so here you go agnes blow out the candles and she can’t she she’s just stunned come on agnes blow out the candles or I’ll blow em out for you and finally he just blows about and hands her

the sets the cake down on the counter hands her a knife and says agnes got the cake so we can eat it and she just looks at it she says do we have to cut it right now can we can we just enjoy it a little longer and not cut it up oh I don’t care agnes you can keep the cake if you take it home if you want she said can I no one’s ever given me a birthday cake tony says she looked at me she looked at harry and she said I just live a couple a couple houses down I’ll be right back and the way tony says it it looked as if she was carrying the holy grail as she walked out with her birthday cake and as soon as the door closed there was this awkward silence as you can imagine and tony said I don’t know what got into me but I said how about if we pray and he said I prayed for agnes I prayed for her salvation and I prayed that God would bless her and harry came up to him later and said you didn’t tell me you were a preacher what kind of church

do you belong to and tony said I belong to a church that believes in giving parties to [ __ ] at 3 30 in the morning and harry said no way there’s no church like that if there was I’d be a part of it would you would you be a part of a church like that do you think Jesus wants south to be a part of it be a church like that what would it look like if we opened our eyes to people that are hurting and people that are around us and began to invite them into our lives and told them about Jesus what would it look like if we humbled ourselves enough to say I’m needy I’m poor I need a savior I want to feast at your table every day Jesus would you stand with me as we stand I’m going to invite you to just think quietly for a minute maybe if you want to close your eyes and and just ask you a couple of questions the first one is this who have you been having meals with lately and is Jesus bringing a face or a name of somebody in your circle of influence that

you should connect with this week someone at work someone that serves you in a in a restaurant or in in the grocery store someone there’s someone is there someone that’s not very much like you someone different than you that Jesus is saying what about her what about him can you see yourself inviting them into your home or meeting them at a coffee shop or a restaurant this week and the second question I want to ask you is have you been feasting at Jesus table are you living in his kingdom taking advantage of all the good stuff that he has the invitation’s out there but have you said yes are you continuing to say yes every day father we admit that we need you forgive us when we have not opened our tables big enough to people different than us to people that that are your kind of people people that you love remind us again today Jesus that we’re the poor we’re needy we’re weak we’re wounded we too have sicknesses and sores we too are thirsty thank you for inviting us to come to you amen