Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Sermon / Homily on Luke 14: 7-11

A Meditation on Luke 14: 7-11

by Rev. Fr. Mammen Mathew, Texas

Bible Reading: St. Luke 14: 7-11

" For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
" Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves."
Philippians 2:3

This Sunday we meditate on a very familiar passage from Luke's gospel. Jesus was invited to eat dinner at the home of a prominent Pharisee. Many people were there, important people as well as people who were hoping to become important. As the guest s took their seats at the table, Jesus watched them carefully. He watched how the guests picked the places of honor at the table. He did not like what He saw. They were behaving badly. So Jesus told a parable of honor at the banquet to show them how important humility is in the Kingdom of God. He said, "Suppose someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor. A person more important than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come to you. He will say, ‘give this person your seat. ‘ Then you will feel ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed. You will have to take the least important seat.

This parable applies to all of us. Some of us have this weakness. Many times we act like the most intelligent or most important person in a community; though in reality we are not. We have a tendency to think that we are better and smarter than the others. But we should not feel like that because there may be another person more knowledgeable or more honorable than us. According to Jesus, our driving principle to do service should be humility.

"For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

In God's Kingdom, the way up is down. Anyone who lifts himself up will be brought down, and anyone who is brought down will be lifted up. When we try to make other people think that we are important or better than them, then we will be humbled against our will. But if we humble ourselves, then God will honor us.

What does it mean to be humble? Well, people who are humble don't think that they are better than others. A humble person see others being more important than he or she is. It is a sin to be proud. Pride separates us from God.

"Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off." Psalms 138:6

"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility." Proverbs 18:12

"Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion." Romans 12:16

The role model for humility is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me conclude with the following quote from Philippians 2:5-11:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death -
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


Source: ICON

See Also:

Sermons and Bible Commentaries for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost

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