When Jesus was dining with a group of people on the Sabbath, some of the guests were “watching Him carefully” in order to see if He would do anything wrong. He healed someone right in front of them and then questioned them about whether it was “lawful” to do so on the day of rest. “But they remained silent.” He then exposed their false interpretations and their hypocrisy by reminding them that if they had “a son or an ox” that fell into a well on Saturday, they would not wait a whole day to pull out man or beast. What could they say?
The scribes and Pharisees were full of religious pride, and that was why they were so ready to accuse the Messiah. They would have been far better to “sit in the lowest place” of true humility, learning from the Lord, since “he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus was providing Israel with a “great banquet,” but many were unable to understand the priority of His invitation because of an exaggerated sense of the value of their own agendas. Since they refused to come to Him with an open heart, He would send out His ambassadors to invite and even “compel” those who were the least among them. “The poor and crippled and blind and lame” would eat bread at His table.
What would become of the proud who rejected His call? None of them would “taste” the best of all meals because they were unwilling to hear His words and obey the voice of the Lord.
True disciples of Jesus needed to be like a preservative spice in a world that lacked “saltiness.” The worshiper who preferred his close relatives and his own life to the glory of relationship with the Son of Man simply did not have “ears to hear” almighty God. Each human being who was ready to “bear his own cross and come after” Christ was making a far wiser choice.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, thank You for the blessing of Sabbath. We humbly come into Your presence and find that we have been lifted up through our association with Jesus Christ. We don’t know how to do what is necessary to serve rightly in Your kingdom. Have we been excusing ourselves from duties of worship and sacrificial living? Why would we be so foolish? Please bring more people into Your great banquet. Grant us a fuller understanding of the cost of our salvation in the life and death of Your Son. We will not hold back our treasures from You any longer. We choose the Messiah above all that we have, for we would be His true disciples.