The White House just last night had a dinner where many in the media, entertainment, Hollywood, and others industries were all invited as guest of the President of the United States. Many were seated on the stage in closeness to the President based on the honor bestowed to theme by their own industry and the White House itself. The guest list I image was a variable who’s who list of those our secular society considers the elite in their fields. Some of the invited guest even engaged in politics to gain a highly honored seat at the affair.
The owners of various sports franchises pay their homage to some of the rich and famous in the secular culture by giving them luxury suites at their stadiums and arenas to watch their sports teams perform while they dine of the finest foods and indulge in every alcoholic beverage their hearts could desire. Even some of the society’s visibly elite clergy or the popular preachers of today are invited by some of these people and given celebrity treatment. Many of the Popes of the Catholic Church over the years have always been received by the heads of foreign Nations with royal status.
Our Lord (a Man that did not even own a home) witnessed how the other Pharisees coveted the best seats at this large and important feast and gathering on the Sabbath day and spoke this parable to these leaders after He had just left the house of a Pharisee for dinner. The apparent intent of the Pharisee in inviting our Lord was not that he was seeking to know the truth about the Kingdom of God from our Lord, but that they might watch our Lord closely. They intentionally brought a man with the infirmity of dropsy into the Pharisees home on this Sabbath day to see if our Lord would heal him so they might again have something to accuse Him of being dishonoring by not keeping the Sabbath day holy. This may have been the same time as recorded by John Mark where our Lord after asking them was it lawful to heal on the Sabbath that He turned and looked at them with anger because of the hardness of their hearts toward this afflicted man. How foolish these men to stand in the presence of such pure and holy majesty and power and yet they associated our Lord’s power with the devil. They did not deny His miracle working and healing power but perverted it, what stupidity. This same stupidity continues today.
This dropsy was another horrible affliction that caused swelling from excessive accumulation of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or serous cavities and must have made this man’s appearance very unappealing and even a bit frightening especially to little children. Obviously our Lord would not look upon a man in such condition and not be moved with compassion to free him from his affliction. The indifference of these Pharisees was truly appalling that they would care so little about this man as to use him as a mere prop revealed their extreme lack of lowliness, compassion, and humility. Their indignation for our Lord along with their jealousy of Him took them to the very bottom of miss-guided religious zeal, pride, and arrogance.
Our Lord sat and watched how these men pushed and shoved their way to the place of highest esteem in the house of this ruling Pharisee while they were simultaneously dishonoring and using this man afflicted with dropsy. It is the entire purpose and design of this parable from our Lord to show them their foolishness in trying to impress others of their status by where they are seen in relation to the ruling Pharisees and not by showing gratitude by even being invited and taking whatever low place is available. It is not the heart’s desire of one who seeks another’s glory to be seen or known, but only to honor others before receiving honor to him. Self-exaltation is not honorable to God but on the contrary it is revolting to God and it is probably on par with luke-warmness that makes our Lord want to vomit.
These men felt that their indulgence of their many material blessings were a proof that God had and is looking on them with favor though they never ever did anything for any of their fellow Jews that lived in poverty. These men saw poverty as God’s judgment on the people for their lack of piety or keeping of the Law of Moses and saw their earthly wealth as God’s favor and blessings to them for their religious faithfulness to the Law of Moses. For some reason they did not think God the Father saw how they would rob widow’s houses as our Lord would point out to them in Matthew Chapter 23.
Our Lord wanted to squash that line of belief or understanding about the Father by telling them in this parable that God the Father is not honored by their excessive indulgence with no regard for fellow Jews that did not even have bread enough to eat. This word from our Lord struck down their warped view of the God they thought they were honoring and worshipping by their lavish indulgence at the expense of the poor who could not even afford the lambs required to make their temple sacrifices. It is analogous to those health, wealth, and prosperity prostitutes of the gospel going to the continent of Africa and telling people in those countries that live on less than $3.00 per day to give them their money and watch God bless them with a 100 fold increase. Our Lord did not speak this parable with the understanding that it would change their behavior, but it was more done as a rebuke to their behavior and still stands for all who follow and believe the health, wealth, and prosperity scheme being spread all over the world this very day.
It is not what other human beings think about you or me but it is what God knows about every person’s heart and their motives and intent when anything is done because our Lord sees not only the outward actions but He sees the purpose, the priority, and the purport of the action, even why one obeys His Word. He is not fooled by the outward man but His concern is the real man that lives in the body, who and what is he truly like. Does that man want to please Him, honor Him, and glorify Him in everything he thinks, says, and does this will be the one our Lord lifts up in the end and it may never occur on this earth. Remember Anna the true Prophetess, no one even knew who she was but the Scripture says, “She served God with fastings and prayers night and day”, surely she was not only praying for herself during all this time but for the Nation of Israel and for individual Jewish people, and for the glory of God. Though she was never exalted or lifted up perhaps by men on this earth, you better believe our Lord has lifted her up by honoring her in His word that abides, continues, remains, and stays forever. This is the true lowly place our Lord speaks of in this parable.
Psalms 18:27 For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks. NKJV
Psalms 138:6 Though the LORD is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar. NKJV
Proverbs 3:35 The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools. NKJV
Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. NKJV
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility. NKJV
Proverbs 19:17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given. NKJV
Proverbs 25:6-7 Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of the great; For it is better that he say to you, “Come up here,” Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen. NKJV
“Do not desire to be the principal man in the church. Be lowly. Be humble. The best man in the church is the man who is willing to be a doormat for all to wipe their boots on, the brother who does not mind what happens to him at all, so long as God is glorified.” Charles H. Spurgeon
“Oh that I was lowly in heart! Honor and dishonor, good report and evil report would then be alike, and prove a furtherance to me in my Christian cause.” George Whitefield
“The man who has no opinion of himself at all can never be hurt if others do not acknowledge him. Hence, be meek. He who is without expectation cannot fret if nothing comes to him. It is self-evident that these things are so. The lowly man and the meek man are really above all other men, above all other things.” Henry Drummond
“Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God’s majesty.” John Calvin
“When I pastored a country church, a farmer didn’t like the sermons I preached on @#!*% . He said, ‘Preach about the meek and lowly Jesus.’ I said, ‘That’s where I got my information about @#!*% .’” Vance Havner
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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