Daily Devotional: Day 141
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14: 13-14, NKJV).
Jesus is known for His radical teachings. Today’s passage is one of them. When you look carefully at what Jesus said, it defies common logic. Nevertheless, His teaching is true. The wisdom of God surpasses human wisdom. And, what appears wise to us may be foolishness to God: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19).
One day, Jesus was a guest at the house of one of the leading Pharisees in Israel. As usual, He took the opportunity to turn the occasion into a teaching moment. Today’s reading is part of what He taught. He says that when you give a feast, don’t invite your friends and relatives and rich neighbors, lest they invite you back and you get repaid (cf. Luke 14:12). This statement alone is problematic. It sounds unrealistic and counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But Jesus isn’t interested in how we feel about it. He is teaching truth with authority as the Son of God, and He is expecting us to practice what He is telling us.
Jesus goes on to say that when you give a feast, invite the poor and the socially marginalized. Now listen to His logic. He says when you invite people of this class, you will be blessed. Why? Because they cannot repay you. Instead, you shall be paid at the resurrection of the righteous on the last day. When you do good to people, and you are always expecting them to return the favor, you can’t count on receiving a reward in heaven, because you have already received your reward.
Jesus’ message to us is this: When you do good to people, your blessing consists in the fact that the beneficiaries of your kindness cannot repay you. Rejoice, because God has taken note of it, and on the day of resurrection, He shall richly reward you for your deeds of kindness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see followers of Jesus practice what Jesus is teaching us today? What is stopping us?
Decide whose reward matters to you. Do you want to be repaid here or in heaven? Your choice.
May the Lord let His face shine on you and your loved ones today! Amen.
For further study: Psalm 41:1-3