7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honour at the table, he told them this parable: 8 ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this person your seat.” Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.” Then you will be honoured in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
Is Jesus encouraging us to adopt false humility, pretending to be humble in order that we might be publicly rewarded – a bit like asking if anyone wants the last piece of cake, a recognised way of announcing that actually you want it and others are supposed to respond by saying, no you have it! No, this is a parable, an exaggerated story told to make a point – God’s way, the Kingdom way, values putting others first. We are to value others above ourselves, and value others who do the same as God does. This is the way of the Cross, the humility of Good Friday leading to the being lifting up of Easter Sunday.
Lord, show me how I can take up my Cross and put others first today.