Being the Servant: Luke 14:7-24

Focus Passage: Luke 14:7-24 (GW)

 7 Then Jesus noticed how the guests always chose the places of honor. So he used this illustration when he spoke to them: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding, don’t take the place of honor. Maybe someone more important than you was invited. 9 Then your host would say to you, ‘Give this person your place.’ Embarrassed, you would have to take the place of least honor. 10 So when you’re invited, take the place of least honor. Then, when your host comes, he will tell you, ‘Friend, move to a more honorable place.’ Then all the other guests will see how you are honored. 11 Those who honor themselves will be humbled, but people who humble themselves will be honored.”

 12 Then he told the man who had invited him, “When you invite people for lunch or dinner, don’t invite only your friends, family, other relatives, or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they will return the favor. 13 Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the handicapped, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then you will be blessed because they don’t have any way to pay you back. You will be paid back when those who have God’s approval come back to life.”

 15 One of those eating with him heard this. So he said to Jesus, “The person who will be at the banquet in the kingdom of God is blessed.”

 16 Jesus said to him, “A man gave a large banquet and invited many people. 17 When it was time for the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who were invited, ‘Come! Everything is ready now.’

 18 “Everyone asked to be excused. The first said to him, ‘I bought a field, and I need to see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I bought five pairs of oxen, and I’m on my way to see how well they plow. Please excuse me.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I recently got married, and that’s why I can’t come.’

 21 “The servant went back to report this to his master. Then the master of the house became angry. He told his servant, ‘Run to every street and alley in the city! Bring back the poor, the handicapped, the blind, and the lame.’

 22 “The servant said, ‘Sir, what you’ve ordered has been done. But there is still room for more people.’

 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go to the roads and paths! Urge the people to come to my house. I want it to be full. 24 I can guarantee that none of those invited earlier will taste any food at my banquet.’ ”

Read Luke 14:7-24 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

While reading through this passage, a number of things stood out to me. For this journal entry, we will focus on the role of the servant, and discuss who he might represent in this parable.

In my analysis, I can see three possible representatives for the role of the servant.

  1. The first possible representative for the servant’s role is Jesus. He spent a good portion of His ministry showing people what God is like, and inviting them to believe in Him. Jesus invited people to follow Him, and by following Jesus, we are accepting the invitation to the banquet.
  2. The second possible representative for the servant’s role is the Holy Spirit. Jesus is no longer on the earth, but He promised to send the Holy Spirit to as a Comforter and Guide. The Holy Spirit leads individuals into a growing relationship with God – which leads to accepting the invitation to the banquet.
  3. The third possible representative for the servant’s role is us (His followers / His Church). Who better to invite other people than people who are already invited? Jesus tells us that “the person who is greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11) By inviting others to know and experience a relationship with Jesus, we are able to step into the servant’s role and invite others to the banquet.

Some might think that we must now choose one of these possible representatives to fill this role, but I disagree. In my mind, and in my experience, all three are the servant.

First Jesus came and served us, modeling true servant behavior, and opening a way for us to be invited to the banquet. Now, both the Holy Spirit prompting on an individual’s heart, as well as the invitation from a friend can inspire someone to accept Jesus into their lives – which is another way of saying that they are accepting the invitation to the banquet. All three of these representatives play a key role in the inviting process.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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