By Frank Pollard
"The Secret Exalted Living"
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "Only a bullfighter lives life all
the way up." Well, I do not want to be a bullfighter. Do you? But
we do want to live life all the way up. Living life all the way up
is what Jesus meant when he said, "The reason I came to earth is that
you might have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10). Maybe
that explains this strange parable. Why would he say such a thing?
What is the big deal about where people sit at a banquet? The story
he told is kind of humorous. We see those men jockeying for
positions of honor, looking around to see how they fit in the pecking
order. After all, you want to look as important as you can, but you
cannot risk being humiliated by being asked to move down to a lower
seat. It is embarrassing to find the chief seat you occupied belongs
to someone chiefer. I guess it is not so funny after all when we
realize that these were the leading men of their day. They were
known as the "Men of God".
This ego-serving activity was disturbing and important to
Jesus. Why? Because these men were trying to say what some of us
try to say. In the clothes we wear, the homes we buy, the
automobiles we drive, the positions we occupy. "Look at me. I am
worth something. I am somebody. I am doing something with this
Jesus made it very clear he wants us to have a great life. He
demonstrated that our having a full and rich life is "to die for",
literally. We see then that this little parable is not just advice
in banquet etiquette. He is telling us that our greatness is in us.
Importance is not in a place at a head table. It is in you. In II
Corinthians chapter 2, beginning in verse 7, the Bible says there is
a wisdom that comes from God. This wisdom that shares the secret of
life is totally missing in the leaders of this world. "Eyes have not
seen it." It is invisible. "Ears have not heard it." It is
inaudible. No mind has conceived what ...
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