What Jesus Did! 'Moving Beyond the Barter' — Luke 14:12-14

Friday, September 4, 2015

Then Jesus said to the Pharisee that had invited him, "When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite only your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. At another time they will pay you back by inviting you to eat with them. Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor people, the crippled, and the blind. Then you will have great blessings, because these people cannot pay you back. They have nothing. But God will reward you at the time when good people rise from death."
— Luke 14:12-14
Illustration of Luke 14:12-14 — "When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite only your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors."

Key Thought

So much of life is tied up in bartering—I'll do this for you and you'll do this for me. In friendship, the expectation is not explicit. However, the relationship is built upon doing things with and for each other. This is not particularly bad. However, Jesus wants us to follow him into a more redemptive purpose in our relationships. He challenges us to also bless, benefit, and befriend those who cannot repay us for our interest, concern, and kindness. This leaves the rewards of our actions to be the intrinsic blessing of helping someone else and to be a deep trust that it matters to our God—and God promises to remember!

Today's Prayer

Father, open my eyes to the opportunities you provide me to bless others in Jesus' name. Forgive me when I invest all my time, effort, and interest only in those whom I already know. Use me to bless those from whom I can expect nothing. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then Jesus noticed that some of the guests were choosing the best places to sit. So Jesus told this story: "When a person invites you to a wedding, don't sit in the most important seat. The person may have invited someone more important than you. And if you are sitting in the most important seat, then the person that invited you will come to you and say, 'Give this man your seat!' Then you will begin to move down to the last place. And you will be very embarrassed. So when a person invites you, go sit in the seat that is not important. Then the person that invited you will come to you and say, 'Friend, move up here to this better place!' What an honor this will be for you in front of all the other guests! Every person that makes himself important will be made humble. But the person that makes himself humble will be made important." Then Jesus said to the Pharisee that had invited him, "When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite only your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. At another time they will pay you back by inviting you to eat with them. Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor people, the crippled, and the blind. Then you will have great blessings, because these people cannot pay you back. They have nothing. But God will reward you at the time when good people rise from death."

Luke 14:7-14

Related Scripture Readings

You might think you are religious (good). But if you say things you should not say, then you are fooling yourself. Your "religion" is worth nothing. The kind of religion (worship) that God accepts is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world's {evil} influence. This is the kind of religion (worship) that God accepts as pure and good.

James 1:26-27

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those people that do bad things to you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father lets the sun rise for the good people and the bad people. Your Father sends rain to people that do good and to people that do wrong. If you love only the people that love you, then you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, then you are no better than other people. Even the people without God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, the same as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

"Do to other people the same things you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law {of Moses} and the {teaching of the} prophets.

Matthew 7:12

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.