Luke 14:7 – 7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus noticed that invited guests were choosing places of honour for themselves. The lesson in this text is fairly clear. Don’t chase after the places of honour. But there is something else here. The story begins by telling us that Jesus noticed their actions.
The word simply means to hold to – here, in terms of holding in one’s sight; to observe, to attend to. Jesus saw something that caught his attention and he set his sights upon what He saw.
When we are gathered together at social gatherings, or corporate worship, or in any gathering with others – what does Jesus notice about us? Well, He notices much more than the physically observable. He notices the heart, the motivations, the inner emotions and desires and will.
Does he notice us jostling for places of prominence? Does He notice us being envious of others who are prominent? Does he notice people comparing wardrobes and looking down on those who do not dress as well as they do? Does He notice cliques that are harder to break into than it is to break out of a maximum security cell? Does He notice pride disguised as humility, bravado disguised as self-deprecation, self centeredness disguised as spiritual instruction? Does He notice us wanting to be noticed by the really important people and never thinking that He is the only one who fits that description? Does He notice us being polite over a veil of resentment and longing to be elsewhere? Does He notice the half truths disguised as the whole thing? Does He notice us speaking very loudly about what “the Lord is doing in my life”? Does He notice the furtive glances in the mirror admiring what we see and wondering if others are envious? Does He notice us avoiding people because we are holding a grudge? Does He notice any gossip, resentment, ridicule, or self pity … ? Oh how we need to remember that Jesus notices.