So what does it mean to exalt oneself?  At first, I consider it to be self-seeking, boasting, making demands.  But I also exalt myself when I let my desires become more important than people around me.  I exalt myself when I show hospitality as a means of promoting my own good name rather than the name of Jesus.  How do I want to be known?  If it’s as one who exalts Jesus with his life my focus for life will be on the needs of others.  When I give, expect nothing back.  When I love, expect nothing back.  When I serve, expect nothing back.  Love for the sake of love, not for the return.

Jesus tells of a great banquet.  The host sent out invitations but no one was interested.  They were all too busy with their life adventures.  Disappointed, but un-deterred, the host invited the poor, sick and other untouchables that they might enjoy the party instead.  When there was more room still, he invited the outsiders, the foreigners to be a part of the festivities.  The banquet represents Jesus’ kingdom offer which Israel rejected.  Israel took the offer for granted, assuming like the man in verse 15 that they would all be there.  They were sons of Abraham.  Why wouldn’t they be?  But through these parables, Jesus is teaching it’s not about your birth, your status or your righteousness.  It’s about Him.  What will do with Jesus today?

Like the overly pious rulers of Israel, I sometimes take Jesus invitation for granted.  I’ve accepted his call to healing and redemption.   Have I accepted his call to discipleship?  Redemption is a process.  Discipleship is part of that process.  It’s how I become like Jesus.  Jesus is calling me to follow him, for once, for always.  Am I holding on to the invitation with both hands?   Or do I have one hand on the invitation and one hand on my life’s adventures?  When you count the cost, there is only one pursuit, one Jesus.   Follow Him today and every day after.

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