But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher.” Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
We may be missing an important part of this parable. What if we weren’t just a guest looking for seat? What Jesus has in store for us at His wedding feast might just be better than we could imagine. But while we are jockeying for a position in life, we might miss the best seat in the house. As we see in Revelation 19:7-8, "Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.”
We are not just any guest, but we His church are His bride. Jesus is preparing us, His bride, as pure and blameless. In a marriage,no one wants to be partnered up with pride and arrogance. There is nothing more unattractive than pride. And yet there is nothing more attractive than a husband or wife who is secure and humble.
We see that the groom, the host, in this parable has a place reserved for us. He calls us ‘friend’—this word in the greek is actually ‘beloved’. ‘Friend’ is defined as someone dearly loved or prized in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection. We, His church in this world, need to take the lower seat. We need to serve like our groom did when He was here on earth. We need to take the lowest seat, knowing that we are actually the bride of heaven. We don’t need to get our power from government, corporations, the media, the opinions of man, the world of fame. We don’t need to compromise our purity to fit into culture.
The worst seat for us to take would be the one next to where the bride is supposed to sit., but hasn't yet been invited to take. It would tell the whole room that we didn’t realize who we are. The whole earth looks at the church, sometimes, with bewilderment because we take the wrong seat. We show the whole world we don’t know the groom.
When we hear the groom call us ‘beloved’, I pray we are not found in a seat that does not belong to us. I pray we are found serving the least of these. I pray we are serving our neighborhoods and our city with a fierce love. I pray we are sharing the gospel, the story of God’s love towards us His bride, with such a passion and vision that many are welcomed as His bride, His church, with us.
May we be known as the groom’s trusted confidant; may we have a personal affection with Christ that causes us to be secure in every area of our lives, knowing He will call us higher. May we not take the seat of a stranger at our own wedding, but may we know the voice of the groom when He calls us beloved.
Spend some time in prayer, and in His word, dwelling on His love for you shown through the cross and resurrection. Let’s get to know Him, for out of the overflow of this is the identity and security we desire.
Friend, move up higher.