US: Turn the table upside down
Luke 14: 15-16 “When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests …”
In v7 Jesus ‘noticed how the guests picked the places of honour at the table’ and so he told them a parable of humility and exaltation. It brought unease, disquiet and offence especially to the host of the meal. In the awkward short silence a man sitting with Jesus speaks to try and bring unity perhaps.
The Jews believed in the great Messianic banquet. The long awaited Messiah would come just like Moses the Redeemer feeding Israel with manna from heaven. But of course, the Messiah would be greater than Moses and the meal would also be greater than manna.
Now who would be at that heavenly table? Well certainly everyone sitting around the table with Jesus including this man who announces, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.’ They truly believed they would make it to the table. The man was quick to see the analogy of their table and the table to come. He was quick because it was steeped in their understanding of the Kingdom of God.
Not only did they know they would make it they knew who would not make it.
Their table was a certain way up, their way up, with them all sitting around it.
Like a flash, Jesus responded. He turned their table upside down and it created the question of whether or not they would actually be anywhere near the table.
When our tables are set and the chairs are arranged and we know which is our favourite seat; when we have ordered our lives in a certain way that highlights us and when we totally believe the future is even brighter for us; when life is only about us because it is only us that have pleased God enough; when we know more importantly who will not be sitting with us; when us overpowers ‘them’; perhaps we need to take a step back and ask ourselves if the table is the right way up? Turning it upside down and making life not about us at all is maybe how the table should lay?