Bless Those With Less!
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
Jesus has a desire for us to live out the following truth:
Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
God is concerned about everyone, regardless of their economic status or of popularity. I am reminded of an illustration of this principle. David had become King over Israel. His predecessor, King Saul, and Saul’s son Jonathan (David’s beloved and loyal friend) were now dead. At that time, it was a customary practice for new kings to execute all remaining heirs of the previous king’s family to ensure the safety of their throne. But … wanting to show kindness in remembrance of Jonathan, King David throws a kink in the custom:
David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They called him to appear before David …
The king asked, “Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.” …
When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”
“Your servant,” he replied.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” …
And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet. (2 Samuel 9:1-3, 9-10, 13)
It has been said that you can tell a great deal about a person’s character by how they treat those who can do nothing to benefit or help them. We can see from this one account of David’s life that it is no wonder God calls him “A man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22).
We see Jesus demonstrating this principle in a scene described in Matthew:
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:29-32)
Ever the reasonable, humanly possible thinking disciples balked at the idea, saying:
“Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” (Matthew 15:33)
Yet seven loaves of bread and a few small fish in the Master’s hands were enough to satisfy the four thousand plus the women and children:
He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. (Matthew 15:35-38)
Take It to Heart
“I am a humble pensioner myself for my daily bread.
Shall I forget my brother who seems in great need?
I know not how it happened that I have more than they,
Unless God meant that I should give a larger part away.
The humblest wayside beggar and I have wants the same.
Close side by side we walked when God called out one name.
So brother, it happened the name He called was mine,
The food was given for both, here, half of it is thine.”
(Helen Hunt Jackson)