One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 14:1-14
Jesus celebrated the Sabbath by accepting a dinner invitation. How will you observe the Sabbath – a day of rest – this week? Do you rest on Sundays? What is your plan for finding time to rest this week?
In this account, Jesus wasn’t approached by someone asking to be healed. He noticed someone with an obvious medical condition and healed him on the spot. Take a moment to imagine the scene. How do you feel about Jesus as he steps outside of himself and the drama that seemed to follow him and focuses his attention on this ill person? If Jesus ignored a group and focused on you, what would you hope that Jesus would see about your vulnerabilities?
In what ways were the Pharisees failing at feeling and showing compassion? What distracted the Pharisees from the suffering of others? Who is it easy for you to show compassion to? Who do you find it difficult to have compassion for?
To be humble is to have a right view of self. What makes humility difficult? What are you learning about humility from this passage? How do you see humility in Jesus? How are humility and compassion linked together?
What do you do for others that you expect to be repaid for? Think about a time when you served someone who was incapable of repaying you. What was that experience like? What did you learn from that experience?
What aspects of interacting with broke people or ill people do you find challenging? Jesus invites us to love the person in front of us. If you are ready, ask God to help you notice someone in your life who needs your compassion.
Think about a time when you needed compassion. Who did you receive it from? What did they do or say that expressed their compassion?
In what ways do you need compassion today? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a sense of God’s compassionate heart.