Luke 14:1, 7-14
Dear Partner in Preaching,
I think it’s rather difficult for most of us to imagine the reaction Jesus’ words would have elicited. To us, this seems like rather humdrum polite advice. (Not that we’d necessarily take it, mind you, but it probably wouldn’t give offense.) But to Jesus’ first-century hearers, living in an honor-shame culture that was intensely sensitive to issues of status and recognition, it would have seemed rather remarkable, and ultimately offensive.
I say “ultimately” because the problem Jesus names was acute. There were few things that would be more humiliating than to have a host ask...