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CONCERNING HUMILITY

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Prologue

Fol­low­ing Jesus’ warn­ing on the danger of not enter­ing through the nar­row door, and on the pro­vok­ing say­ing that many who are first will be last while many who are last will be first, some Phar­isees approached Jesus and asked him to leave because Herod intends to kill him. Jesus sum­mar­ises his fear­less­ness, com­mit­ment, and con­vic­tion with his strong reply “go and tell that fox, behold, I cast out demons and I per­form heal­ings today and tomor­row, and on the third day, I accom­plish my pur­pose. Yet I must con­tin­ue on my way today, tomor­row, and the fol­low­ing day, for it is impossible that a proph­et should die out­side of Jer­u­s­alem” (Luke 13:32–33). Jesus describes Herod Anti­pas tetrarch of Galilee and Perea as a dog. Prob­ably, Jesus was teach­ing with­in this region (cf. Luke 3:1; Matt 14:1).

Jesus Addresses the invitees – The call to humility

As stated above, Luke 14:7–8 explains that Jesus told the invit­ees the par­able in vv. 9–11 when he saw how they struggled to occupy places of hon­our. The sum­mary or the teach­ing of this par­able is humil­ity. It is an invit­a­tion to be humble and to humble one­self. Although we doubt how Muslims under­stand it, even the Qur’an also recom­mends humil­ity (cf. Sūra LVII:16). Con­trary to what many Chris­ti­ans (and oth­ers) think, humil­ity is not a sign of the tra­di­tion­al Chris­ti­ans’ concept of spir­itu­al­ity, which is equi­val­ent to fool­ish­ness and weak­ness. In the Bib­lic­al sense, humil­ity (Greek: tapeinophrosunē) is free­dom from pride and arrog­ance. It is humble­ness and mod­esty; not exalt­ing one­self to the det­ri­ment of oth­ers. It is that qual­ity mani­fes­ted by Jesus (cf. Phil 2:8) and with which Paul served God through human­ity (cf. Acts 20:19). There­fore, Chris­ti­ans (and oth­ers) are entreated to con­serve this qual­ity and apply it in their inter­ac­tions with one anoth­er (cf. Eph 4:2; Phil 2:3; Col 3:12; 1Pet 5:5). To the humble, Jesus prom­ises the earth (cf. Matt 5:5). In the absence of humil­ity, pride takes place with all its char­ac­ter­ist­ics. In Luke 14:11, Jesus con­cludes his address to the invit­ees with these words “for every­one who exalts him­self will be humbled, but the one who humbles him­self will be exal­ted” (cf. also Matt 23:12). To be appre­ci­ated by God, we must be humble. This is the primary les­son of the First Read­ing (Sir 3:19–21.30–31). The invit­ees could be any of us.

Jesus Addresses the host

In the last part of the epis­ode (Luke 14:12–14), Jesus gives unpre­ced­en­ted teach­ing to his host, the renowned Phar­isee (and his invit­ees) con­cern­ing those he should not invite (v.12) and those he should invite (v.13), whenev­er he gives a lunch­eon or din­ner. The rad­ic­al­ism of Jesus’ teach­ing is again under­lined by the do not (Greek: ) of verse 12 and the but (Greek: alla) of verse 13. Some might argue that Jesus exag­ger­ated in the sense that he should have said invite also…. But Jesus does not share in the mod­ern accom­mod­at­ing of things because of the urge to please people and be tagged ‘good.’ He speaks in a straight­for­ward man­ner. From Jesus’ words, the Phar­isees invited people from his class. In Luke 12:13–21, the rich farm­er was described as a.…

Epilogue

Luke 14:1.7–14 should make us re-think our atti­tude towards power and recog­ni­tion. The thirst for these (power and recog­ni­tion) is the worst thing hap­pen­ing to human­ity. Jesus emphas­izes fur­ther the rad­ic­al gen­er­os­ity and care that his dis­ciples are to show toward those who are phys­ic­ally impaired and eco­nom­ic­ally deprived. It is a chal­lenge. Jesus’ primary reas­on for hon­our­ing the invit­a­tion of the Phar­isee was to teach both the invit­ees (cf. Luke 14:7–11), the Phar­isee him­self (cf. Luke 14:12–14), and all of us, to desist from power obses­sion, to avoid dis­crim­in­a­tion, to care for the phys­ic­ally and mater­i­ally less priv­ileged, and to be humble. I doubt if con­tem­por­ary Chris­ti­ans real­ize this.

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE:
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 22nd Sunday is found in
The Word of Life, vol. III, pages 484–495. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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