How do we treat those who are disabled? Last week we were thinking about how God views them right from the beginning as and tells his people to care for them (Deuteronomy 27:18-19). But how does that translate into our everyday lives?
In Luke 14 Jesus is at the house of a prominent religious leader on the Sabbath along with a number of other important people. After healing an ill man and explaining that we should help people more than keeping man-made rules (v1-6), Jesus goes on to tell them a story in v7-11 to illustrate the importance of humility. The religious leaders were all wanting to promote themselves and get the best places at the wedding, but Jesus says surely it is better to be promoted up the table rather than be relegated when someone more important arrives.
How aptly this describes the world today, with many trying to climb the social or career ladder by promoting themselves - stating how good they are and why they should advance rather than anyone else. Jesus reminds that that in God’s Kingdom it is those who humbly put others first that will be exalted. A good reminder for us all!
Then Jesus goes on to challenge the religious leaders about how they treat those less fortunate than themselves – those who are poor, lame and blind. Why not invite them when you next have a party? You always invite your friends and family because you want to impress them and you know that you will get an invite back. They do not need an invite as they have plenty for themselves. Why not invite those that do not have enough, those that will never be able to invite you back. Then you are showing true humility by putting others needs before your own and you will be rewarded in the life to come.
This is a challenge to us too! How much easier it is for us to connect with our family and friends (when we are able to!!) rather than entertain those who are disabled or poor. We need to have the heart that Jesus has, to put the needs of others before our own especially those that are in greater need that ourselves. Jesus demonstrated that while he was on earth by going out of his way to help those in need (the disabled man in John 5 for example), but demonstrated it fully when he died in our place on the cross as Paul describes in Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus …
Written by Grev Parmenter, MMN Director