No long before Jesus celebrated the passover with His disciples for the final time he was invited to a dinner at the home of a religious leader. Jesus and the disciples watched as the various guests vied the best seats and the places of honor.
My years of ministry given me ample opportunity to witness similar scenes. The wedding reception where Aunt Gerty is put out because she didn’t get a seat as close to the head table as she felt was proper. Or — if you can believe it — the funeral during which a family feud erupted over who got to sit in front row.
As Jesus watched these events unfold at the dinner party he gave his listeners some advice. 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14).
At the last passover meal (The Last Supper as we commonly refer to it) the disciples apparently forgot the lesson as they were gathering for the meal. They began to position themselves for the best seats. As Jesus saw this He took up a basin and a towel and began the lowly task of washing their feet. As the Master and Lord He was willing to use His position for the benefit of others.
In this act is a lesson for us all. When you find yourself in position of influence you have two choices. You can use the moment to lift yourself into a better position — or you can leverage that opportunity for ministry.
What opportunities is God giving you this Easter season? As family and friends gather look for the opportunity to serve, to give witness to your Servant King.