Luke 14:1, 7-14
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On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. —Luke 14:1
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Have you ever asked someone for a favor knowing that you were signing up to “owe them one” later? It’s kind of the way our world works. We’re really stuck in this quid pro quo mindset.
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. You do this thing for me, and I’ll remember it later when you need something.
And yet, in today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds those gathered around the table at a banquet that this is not how the Kingdom of God works at all.
Not only does he tell his host not to invite people who want something from him or that he wants something from later – but he actually tells them to invite people who will never be able to pay him back at all.
Jesus is reminding us what the Kingdom of God is like.
God invites us all.
All are welcome.
All are worthy.
And then just like the host who invited us without expecting anything in return, we’re called to go out and do the same.
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. Name a time where you did a favor for someone knowing they’d owe you one. Did you collect?
2. How would you feel if someone did you favor after favor and never asked for anything in return?
3. Who are the people in your life who cannot pay you back when you’re generous?
4. Who are some people who are on the outside and often overlooked?
I ended my message on Sunday with a quote from Glennon Melton and a reminder that as we are sent into the world we are called to look at it with a Kingdom of God perspective. We are called to keep our eyes open for the outcast, the forgotten, the lonely, and left out – and show them what the love of God in the world really looks like.
“That heart-ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.”