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. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?”But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. Then he asked 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. Luke 14:1-6
Prominence. This dinner with Jesus is saturated with stories and illustrations of prominence. Jesus notices who sits where and calls the Pharisees out on their system of honor and shame. Then Jesus challenges their concept of reciprocal generosity based on who serves your status. On top of all that, Jesus tells a lengthy parable about a great banquet in which the people of prominence are too distracted to attend.
While Jesus is setting the table for the greatest heavenly banquet ever known to man, those with earthly wealth and importance are too consumed with their own things to notice. They were too busy trying to find fault with Jesus to realize he was healing a man with unusual swelling and bringing him down to usual size.
Truth is, prominence has a way of swelling our pride and distracting us from what’s really important. The things we possess and the responsibilities we prioritize could be the very obstacles keeping us from building a bigger table. In what ways do you feel you should be elevated or honored? How has a desire for importance become an obstacle for you?
By Yvonne Biel