Yesterday I gave a talk to the Logos secondary as part of their Knights Festival, as a lead-in to their banquet. The text I was using was Luke 14, and I noticed something there I had not seen before.
Jesus is breaking bread with one of the chief Pharisees (Luke 14:1). That is the context — apparently He would share table fellowship with anyone, even the respectable. He says a number of things characteristic of His teaching, summed up in the promise that if we humble ourselves truly, God will exalt us (v. 11).
Then He tells His followers that they are not to invite people over as a tricksy way of getting invited over. (I don’t think He is prohibiting table fellowship with friends by the way. But if that is the only thing that ever happens, there is clearly a problem.) He then says this:
“But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:13-14).
This is what Jesus expects to be happening among His followers. But, as always, He is asking nothing of us that He has not done first Himself. In the next story, Jesus speaks about His kingdom at large this way:
“Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind” (Luke 14: 21).
In other words, Christ’s kingdom is populated with losers, and He invites us all into His great banquet hall. He then tells us to exhibit the same standard, display the same humility, when we, inside that banquet hall, are looking to invite people to sit down with us at our particular table.