Humble Feasting

Mark 7:1–8; Mark 12:38–40; Luke 14:7–14 (read online ⧉)

To some degree, we all have a desire to be needed, acknowledged, valued, and d. Often these are decried as pride. Yet, research (and ) consistently show that a child who is acknowledged, valued, and d (and even needed to a degree) will grow up emotionally healthier than those who lack these things. Yet, if they are over-acknowledged, -valued, -d, -needed (helicopter-parents, anyone?), they also grow up unhealthy emotionally. There is a balance.

One of the biggest indicators of a healthy measure of need, acknowledgment, value, and being d is whether a person is satisfied at the cost of others or not. This isn’t a zero-sum game. It is quite possible to be valued and not devalue others.

When the Pharisees and scribes challenged ’ disciples’ lack of washing, they were elevating their understanding of the Scriptures and traditions of the elders over and the people. had set the boundaries, but the elders put a bigger “fence” around the original Law in an attempt to “protect” the Law and the of as if either the Law or needed it. The larger issue was that the fence was a huge burden to people, and wore down their ts and souls. This was, in effect, bullying of the weak.

’ perspective becomes more apparent later on when ’ assault on the behavioral patterns towards widows, and toward others. Their s of how they were to be treated were over and above what they should be expecting, especially as their s would often happen to the detriment of others, especially those for whom they were supposed to care for. Their desires and s were certainly unhealthy for everyone, even themselves.

In the parable of the feast, notes that people will often rate themselves higher than they ought. It wasn’t just a matter of wealth or privilege, it was who was valued by their with the host. It was, honestly, also who could do the most for the host. Which is why addressed that, too.

The reality is that we are all in places where we could overvalue ourselves, and place ourselves in our own harm’s way. There is also the chance that we do not value ourselves as highly as others (though we have to be careful about false humility, too).

In the conversations of today, whether we are talking about race, gender, equality (of varying sorts), politics, humility is where the conversation begins. None of us is the Savior. There is only one person in that role.

※Prayer [Cheryce Rampersad]※

Heavenly Father, I come before Your throne of and to ask that You bring humility into my . Allow me to not be filled with pride, jealousy, or boastful gestures toward those around me. Let my t be filled with love, joy, peace, and happiness for my fellow men. [Amen]

※Questions※

1) Have you ever had the experience of publically being knocked down a peg or two? Was it justified? Does that matter? How did you feel?

2) Were you ever honored or valued publically beyond what you thought you ded or expected? What was that like?

3) Why is it important to be humble (maybe even pray for humility) before having a deep or ificant conversation with a person with whom you believe you disagree or have had different experiences than?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.