SUNDAY DEC. 5, 2021
Scripture To Consider:
“Now it happened, as Jesus went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely, and behold there was a certain man who had the dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’ But they kept silent. And Jesus took him and healed him, and let him go.”
“Then Jesus answered them, saying, ‘Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?’ And they could not answer Him regarding these things.”
“So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: ‘When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, “Give place to this man,” and then you with shame begin to take the lowest place.’”
“But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14.1-11
Something To Consider:
Once again Jesus was invited to eat in the house of one of the religious rulers on the Sabbath. There something highly suspicious took place. There was a man there with the disease known as dropsy, a watery swelling of certain body parts. And so, Jesus wasted no time. He asked the lawyers or scribes and the Pharisees a question, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
They were silenced and said not a word. But Jesus healed the man, and then Luke tells us that Jesus let him go as if to raise the question as to this man possibly being a victim invited as a quest to provoke Jesus into healing someone on the Sabbath. One thing is for sure, one person went away healed. One person received from the Lord that which he had need of.
How many people in need of healing, are not healed because of unbelief either on their part or on the part of others, such as these religious hypocrites? We may never know the answer. But on this day, this man was healed by Jesus. And no one dared to say a word! In Mark’s gospel chapter 2 and verse 27, Jesus declared, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Therefore, this man on this Sabbath was healed by Jesus.
Something Else To Consider:
Jesus broke the silence by telling a parable. It is a parable that simply by our listening puts each of us in one category or another. By our hearing this parable we have no choice but to label ourselves high minded, or as humble minded. Their response would equally prove no different. It is a most powerful parable.
I must admit, it is both humbling and honoring to be moved forward after taking a lower place at a large gathering or event! And yet, just the opposite is also true I am sure if we through arrogance or pride have taken the higher place of honor and then we are removed to a more humbling position! Let us, therefore, heed the wisdom to be gained from the parable Jesus told.
The prophet in Micah 6.8 acknowledged; “He [God] has shown you, O man [woman or young person], what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” The high minded are not usually concerned with doing justly, or loving mercy, or walking humbly with or without God. But what about us? Do we pursue justice? Do we seek out mercy for others as we desire of ourselves?
Do we look forward to walking humbly with our God on a daily basis? And if not, why not? For according to Jesus, “For whoever exalts himself [or herself] will be humbled, and he [or she] who humbles himself [or herself] will be exalted.” Which is it more often than not? If we are truly following in Jesus’ footsteps, we too should seek to walk with Him in humility. And yet, it is a human struggle between our flesh and the new born-again spirit within us. Let us choose wisely!
Something More To Consider:
Whether we are shamed by our high mindedness, or whether we are honored by our humble mindedness, it is a lesson of a lifetime well learned and one to be wisely remembered. And yet, why is it then that we often attempt to exalt ourselves above others? Why is it at times difficult for us to be quicker to be humble than to be high minded? Humble mindedness is a spiritual fruit to be cultivated in our lives. It may therefore be time to break out some gardening tools!
The apostle Paul informs us in Colossians 3.12-13, by stating; “Therefore, as the elect of God [as new creatures in Christ we are the elect of God], holy and beloved, [therefore], put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you [and me], so you [we] also must do.”
What about the times in which we find ourselves living in this 21st century? As things become more difficult, more lawless, and extremely evil, will we extend these new creatures in Christ characteristics to those God enjoins us with in these most tumultuous end times? Will we extend to others tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, and the forgiveness that God has graciously shown unto us? I hope so!
A Few Final Words:
Jesus proclaimed to the high minded of the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum in Matthew chapter 11; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden [burdened], and I will give you rest. Take My yoke [a symbol of submission] upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly [humble minded] in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Therefore, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death upon a cross. Therefore, God the Father has highly exalted Him, Jesus, above all others. Therefore, when Jesus comes, will He be forced to humble or to exalt us? The decision of course is ours to make. Will we be high minded, or will we be humble minded when Jesus returns with all the holy angels in great power and in all the glory of both the heavens and the earth?
For according to Jesus, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he [or she] who humbles himself [or herself] will be exalted.”
What is it that we will take away from this lesson of a lifetime? Will we simply turn another page in our earthly lives, not learning what it is that Jesus is attempting to teach us? Or will we submit to the power, presence, and conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, by allowing ourselves to be humbled while there is still time?
Our Father in heaven, do not let our pride make us high minded, but rather remind us to remain humble minded and humble in heart as our great exceeding reward and holy example, Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!