Don’t Make Him Bring You Down

by | Jun 10, 2024 | Humility | 0 comments

One Sabbath Day, Jesus is invited to have dinner at the home of one of the Chief Pharisees. Other Pharisees are also there, along with some lawyers. With this type of audience, Jesus takes advantage of the opportunity to bring forth several messages that He wants these people to hear. These messages will be presented in the next few blogs.

Noticing how some of the people at this dinner have made it a point to sit in the best seats in the house, Jesus shares a parable directed at people who feel the need to do this type of thing to let others know how “important” they are.

In the parable, there is a wedding feast, and many people are invited. There aren’t guest cards to assign tables, as is the custom today, but it’s still understood that some of the tables are reserved for the most important people in attendance (whether by social status or by virtue of being part of the immediate family or bridal party). Well, somebody comes in and inappropriately takes a seat at one of the head tables. He’s enjoying hobnobbing with the important wedding guests UNTIL…

An actual VIP for the wedding feast arrives. There are no open seats at any of the head tables, so the man in charge of the guest list comes over and tells the person who doesn’t belong there that he’ll have to sit somewhere else. With most of the tables already full, this guest has to take the “walk of shame,” slinking his way to the back of the room in full view of all of the guests, winding up at a table where the least important people sit.

Rather than going through this shameful experience, how much better would it be to sit at the worst table and then have the man in charge come and say that you should be sitting at a better table? Jesus summarizes the message of the parable by stating:

“Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

Obviously, this message is about more than where you sit at a wedding. It’s about a person’s view toward life. The people that Jesus was speaking to were all very concerned about their standing in life. Many people today have the same focus — they are driven to be important in this life, to be “somebody,” to have people look up to them and to take notice when they enter a room, saying, “Ooh, look who’s here.”

I’ve heard some members of the Church testify that they were once the type of people described above. They were wealthy in the things of life and were considered important people. And then, God took it all away! He in essence banished them from the head table and sent them to the back of the room. And they praise God for this! By having this happen, they were compelled to be humble (as happened to the Zoramites in Alma 32) and were then in the right frame of mind to be better servants of the Lord.

If this ever happens to you, be grateful that God loves you enough to correct you. It’s certainly better than being abased (brought down) in the life to come.

But, even better yet, don’t make Him bring you down at all. Choose to be humble because it’s what Jesus teaches. Don’t make it a priority to call attention to yourself. Instead, call attention to Jesus — identify yourself as a servant of the Lord.

“Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.” (Alma 32:16)

If you choose to keep yourself in the background, perhaps there will be times when the Lord will call you forward and make you visible. Or perhaps He won’t. It doesn’t matter as long as the name of Christ is exalted. And as we humble ourselves in this life, we can take comfort in knowing that the time will come when God will move us up to one of the most important tables of all — one of the tables at the great heavenly banquet that lasts for all eternity.

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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