Luke 14:12-14: 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Do we do this? Our church is having a Thanksgiving Dinner this Sunday evening. Are we inviting anyone? I thought of this passage this afternoon and wonder if we, as Christians, think about who we invite to stuff. Do we invite the people that we think we can benefit from? Do we only give to those who can or will give back? What about investing in those that might never give a return? That might never reinvest in your ministry or your life? That might never be your friend, increase your standing, or make your life better. Do we give our time and energy to those that we will never see a return from, or are we motivated to help those who will repay in some way, maybe not financially, but with a return of the favor.
Giving thanks to God means that we understand that everything we have comes from Him and we don't need to get our needs met from others. God will meet all of our needs. This frees us up to give freely to others since we have received freely from God (Matt. 10:8). Why do we try and protect ourselves through our relationships? Why do we only love those who love us back?
Helping the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind might not always be to our immediate, realized benefit as we understand it. As a matter of fact, it will always require sacrifice of time, energy, and resources. The poor, crippled, lame, and blind might be people who are that way emotionally or spiritually. They might be people who seem to be bad soil. But, when we invite them anyway, we are saying less about them and more about us – how we see God and people. We are confessing that our reward comes from the Lord and not from other people or from what we can scratch out of this life.
"Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."