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The Parable of the
Chief Seats

The Parable of the Chief Seats:

  • This parable is a teaching on the value and expression of what true humility is and how it plays out in life.
  • When Jesus noticed how the guests had been selecting the places of honor for themselves at each table, He told them this parable...

Luke 14.7-11

When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice:

8 “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?

9 The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

10 “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.

11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  • The "imagination" is a whole world inside the mind...

Parables are powerful "word-pictures" that are meant to be engrafted into our mental pictures do control our thought-life.

That's where the "imagination" gets involved. The imagination allows mental exploration of the past, present, future. It is the ability to see pictures and images in the "movie theater" of the mind. The imagination is the "workshop" of the human mind. It is the only thing in the world we have complete control over. That's why GOD takes great interest of what goes on there, and judges what we allow to grow there - Genesis 6.5

The Parable of the Chief Seats...

  • Humility is a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness.
  • Humility is variously seen as the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective, and therefore respect, for one's place in context.
  • Humility is rooted in a sense of "indebtedness." What do I have, that I have not received?
  • The humble have a unique knowledge of themselves
  • The humble are not a part of the cult of the "self-made" man

However -

  • The act of imposing humility upon another person is called "humiliation" - which is not wise

Why is humility needed so desperately?

Humility defeats PRIDE. Humility stops pride from planting and growing roots in our thinking...the kind of thinking that demands "chief seats!"

PRIDE is the problem!

  • It is not necessary to deny your talents and gifts.
  • Recognize them - but live for something greater.
  • Serving others is a great form of humility

People worry about anger, greed, drunkenness, and other problems - but it was "pride" that opened the door for the devil, to become the devil... Ezekiel 14

What is Humility?

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less! I have no desire to be in one of the chief seats - I am happy just for the invitation to be there.

  • "False humility" consists of deprecating one's own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise from others.

How do we strike "pride" down in our life?

  1. Submit to GOD and His authority
  2. Recognize virtues and talents others possess
  3. Honoring those who deserve honoring by being in the chief seats
  4. Submit to authority and be in obedience to those over us
  5. Recognize our own talent limitations
  6. Do not reach beyond our our talents or abilities. Trust GOD and His Wisdom

Proverbs 16.18 "Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall."

  • How often we see this "scramble" for prominence
  • Place-seekers are everywhere
  • Self-importance is the root cause of pride  Proverbs 25.6-7 "Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great. It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace."
  • Our attitude should reflect Matthew 5.6-7 "God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
  • We are to honor one another.
  • We live in the midst of a "success-worshiping" generation.

Finally, we need to examine ourselves, and be thankful for the blessing of just being an "invited" guest. We cannot afford to allow "pride" to be in our heart, thoughts, imagination... Think of the "grace" of GOD. We are in debt to His grace and mercy. Period!

We are in an overwhelmed debt to life - and a person in overwhelming debt cannot afford to be proud. Linked with this sense of debt is a sense of need as he bows before the "holiness of GOD" - Such a person is not mean-spirited, or has a lack of enthusiasm.

Just humble. Let us learn the word-picture of the "chief seats" well. It can keep our head from turning to pride, realizing that "our relationship" with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of GOD is the ultimate goal in our lives...

Pride causes a man to worship at the poor altar of himself. Not a pretty sight! "Everyone that exalts himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." Our choice!

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