Parable of the Guests
7Now He began telling a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8“Whenever you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9and the one who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then in disgrace you will proceed to occupy the last place. 10But whenever you are invited, go and take the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are dining at the table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
12Now He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “Whenever you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you to a meal in return, and that will be your repayment. 13But whenever you give a banquet, invite people who are poor, who have disabilities, who are limping, and people who are blind; 14and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
7¶ And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, 8When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; 9And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. 10But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. 11For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
12¶ Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 13But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
The kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world. This great truth is at the heart of Jesus Christ’s ministry. This is why He speaks the seemingly contradictory truth that those who exalt themselves will be brought low, but those that humble themselves will be exalted in the last day. In this sermon on Luke 14:7–14 titled “Whosoever Exalteth Himself?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tells us that people, in their sinful pride, naturally seek their own exaltation. They love themselves and deny that they are in need of a Savior. Without God, people are wholly ignorant of their state as a sinner in need of God’s grace. This sinful pride is one of the greatest obstacles to ever being saved because they see no need for any to help; in fact, that person does not see themselves as a sinner at all. But the gospel is the message that all are a sinners and that God alone can save. Only God can show people who they are and of the salvation that is needed. The gospel tells that no one should seek self-exaltation, but instead seek the exaltation of God and by doing this, they will find true peace in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.