Jesus Helps Us Even with the Small Things — Luke 14

As I studied Luke 14:7-14, I wondered why Jesus, the Son of God, showed concern about actions that most would consider just plain commonsense and good etiquette. I don’t know anyone who would rush up to sit at a head table uninvited, but in Jesus’ day similar actions must have become quite common among the rich and famous. Then, it occurred to me that this incident shows how Jesus cares about both the big things and the small things and wants to help us with all things. Jesus even cares about the small things that might embarrass the rich and famous and the big things that can make a life and death difference to the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and others. Jesus cares about the rich and the poor, the big things and the little things, and will help us with all things.

On one level, Jesus wants to protect His followers from doing what would embarrass them. He wants them to develop and use good commonsense, and if they need wisdom then they can ask Jesus for the wisdom they need in both big and small situations. James wrote, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).

On another level, Jesus wants His followers to remain humble, even if they become rich and famous. If we do something worthy of note, it is far better for others to notice than for us to strive for and actively solicit their praises. One of my friends used to say: “Blessed are those who pat themselves on the back for fear no one else will.” What we have done may sometimes lead to deserved success and praise from others, with our giving all the glory to Jesus who helped us win the prize, or get the promotion, or a receive a pay raise. This may seem like a small thing, but Jesus wants to help us with the small things too. Jesus loves us so much that He wants to help us with everything we plan and do.

On a third level, some only do what they do for others with the hope that they will get something from them that will help them achieve their goals. Then, they ignore those who cannot help them further their purposes. Namely, they have little, if any, concern for the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. If they have wealth, they do not use their wealth with compassion to help those who cannot help them in return. They ignore those they consider beneath them. Instead, they use their wealth to acquire more wealth and power over others. But Jesus cares for all people, rich and poor; for that reason, Jesus sometimes had to warn the rich about the deceitfulness of riches and the consequences of selfishness. Furthermore, Jesus wants all people, but especially His followers, to care especially for the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and others without thinking about what they might get out of it.

But even though Jesus’ followers help others without a concern for any personal benefit, Jesus did promise His followers that they would be repaid at the resurrection of the just, and we can be just through a faith in Jesus Christ that expresses a loving concern for all people and all things, big and small. Those who help others in Jesus’ name, even in the small things, will join “innumerable angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and God, the judge of all, and the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and Jesus” (Hebrews 12:22-24).

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