When asked to name activities that should be affected by our faith, we have some ready responses. Worshiping God on the Lord’s Day is at the top of that list. So are things like reading our Bibles, praying daily, and even visiting the sick or the bereaved. But are our “dinner parties” on that list?
Jesus once gave advice on whom to invite to such occasions: “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:13,14, NKJV).
So why is Jesus concerned with the guest list for my social affairs? Obviously he wants us to see more deeply into people’s souls than is often the case. Those in the world see only the externals. If you don’t wear the right style of clothing or live in the right neighborhood or drive the right vehicle, then you don’t make their list. That’s why many try hard to “keep up with the Joneses.” Maybe then they’ll be invited to that dinner party everyone is talking about.
There’s another reason why we should expand the pool of candidates for our evenings of entertainment. These less-advantaged are on God’s list. We know that by reading further in Luke 14. Jesus told the parable of the great supper in verses 15-24. Those who were initially invited to the occasion snubbed the host when the time of the feast arrived. Who, then, would take their place? According to Jesus, “the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind” were to be brought in (v. 21). That’s exactly the same list found in verse 13.
When we show favor to those whom the world ignores, we are imitating God. God doesn’t judge people by their appearance (see 1 Samuel 16:7), and neither should we. If Jesus showed compassion to even sinners and tax collectors during his sojourn on earth (see Luke 5:29-32), surely his followers should follow suit.
Note one final thought from Luke 14: Jesus said we “will be blessed, because they cannot repay you” (v. 14). Don’t be alarmed, however, at the thought of not being repaid: “… for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Do the guests on my list match those on God’s?