Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled ...
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The phrase "how they chose the places of honor" troubles me. In truth it comes way to close to my experiences growing up in my 20s, 30s and 40s in the body of Christ. Not sure why but I gravitated toward, and wanted, religious power. Sadly this is an all too real commentary on church life and how people are driven to acquire fleshly power. I wonder what it is that appeals most to us about religious power? Is it people that we admire or something a bit darker?
In contrast Jesus speaks to his hearers, and to us, about the end result of humility. Even so, I suspect that few people really understand humility - in my thinking it probably looks a lot more like humiliation than I want to confess to. In my life the path of humility has been a hard one. Time and time again I have had to eat the pompous religious words that I have spoken. Being confronted by my own arrogance and judgmentalism has been life changing. I have so far to go.
Help us all to be content to sit in the lowest place Lord.