Parable of the Ambitious Guest

At a reception honoring musician Sir Robert Mayer on his 100th birthday, elderly British socialite Lady Diana Cooper fell into conversation with a friendly woman who seemed to know her well. Lady Diana’s failing eyesight prevented her from recognizing her fellow guest, until sh … More



Jesus taught two lessons in this passage (vv. 7-14). First He spoke to the guests, telling them not to seek places of honor (vv. 7-11). Service is more important in God’s kingdom than status. Second, he told the host not to be exclusive about whom he invites (vv. 12-14). It is so easy in life to place more emphasis on reputation than on character. Just as it was in this passage, it can seem more important to us to be recognized by the right people than to live the right kind of life.

What Jesus observes in this Pharisees’ house reveals a wrong attitude, so he gives a parable concerning it. In New Testament times, the closer you sat to the host, the higher you stood on the social ladder, and the more attention you would receive from others. We need to realize that God is not impressed by our status in society or in the church. He is not influenced by what people say or think about us, because He sees the thoughts and motives of the heart (I Samuel 16:7). Some people try to give the appearance of humility in order to manipulate others. Humility is not self-degradation; it is the realistic assessment and commitment to serve.

Jesus spoke to the host, telling him that if he would invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and people who could never repay him, he would be showing that he was ministering to them for the Lord’s sake and not his own (vv. 12-14). This does not mean that we should never invite our family or friends to our homes for hospitality. He is simply warning us against entertaining only family and friends exclusively. God opens His kingdom to everyone.



I should never try to impress people but look for a place where I can serve. If God wants me to serve on a wider scale, He will arrange for me to have a place of higher position.

Luke 14:7-14 (English Standard Version)

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