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11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The Parable of the Lowest Place.
This, ... seems not so much what is technically understood by a parable, as a piece of preceptive counsel. Yet it is a parable in so far as it selects one sort of occasion, and one form of humility to inculcate a lesson that applies to all occasions and any form.
Invitation to partake in wedding festivities is a casual occurrence, and it would be a poor modesty that was to be confined to such occasions. It is, therefore, a parable in teaching a general lesson by a special instance. The need of the lesson may not be very apparent in modern educated circles where it has become embalmed in the forms of their etiquette: but a different feeling is created in the contemplation of either the harsh and undisguised emulations of Greek and Roman life, or Jewish life either, 1,800 years ago: or the barbarous self-assertiveness still prevalent in the vast mass of human population on the earth.
To the end of Gentile times, Christ's parable will remain the unmistakeable indication and inculcation of the kind of behaviour that is acceptable with him. He emphasized the lesson with the immediate remark:
"Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased: and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
The lesson may have no power with the mass of men, but it will to the last prevail with those who conform to the mind of Christ with the docility and zeal of true disciples. A modest and retiring disposition everywhere is more or less the indirect result of the commandment which took shape in this parable.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 30.
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
The Reward - Rev 11:18
"The time of the dead" was, not only for the judicial separation and exclusion of the unworthy, and the strengthening, or quickening, of the approved; but for the giving of "the reward to the servants the prophets, and to the saints, even to those who fear the name of the Deity, to the small and to the great." This testimony shows, that whatever "the reward" may consist in, the righteous do not obtain it until after their resurrection and strengthening.
Christ himself, in the days of his weakness and suffering, plainly taught this. "Thou shalt be recompensed," said he, "at the resurrection of the just" (Luke xiv. 14). And again, he said:
"The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and THEN he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matt. xvi. 27).
This is the teaching which belongs to "the simplicity which is in Christ." Nothing can be more plain and easy to understand. The resurrection has not yet transpired, because "the time of the dead to be judged" is yet future; and because the Son of Man, who is the resurrection and the life, has not yet come with his angels in his Father's glory.
The resurrection being future, then, none of the righteous have yet received "the reward." Enoch, Elijah, Moses, and the few who came out of their graves after the resurrection of Jesus, have been "strengthened;" but even they have not received "the reward;" for this is only to be obtained upon the earth.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
... Was it the merit of the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind that procured the great supper made by a certain man for his rich friends? If the procurement was unconditional, could they have enjoyed it unconditionally? Assuredly not. They could only enjoy the supper on condition of accepting the invitation, going to the house of entertainment, laying hold of the viands, masticating and swallowing them.
So with the gospel feast of Jesus Christ; it is a free gift to all the human family, and every man and woman may enjoy it on condition of accepting it, and going to the place where it is prepared; and those who will neither listen nor go, will never partake of his divine repast.
Belief, repentance, confession and baptism, or no remission in this world or the next, if the word of God means what it says; which I verily believe it does.
The Apostolic Advocate Sept 1834
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
In what sense were they to hate father and mother, sister and brother, husband and wife? In Matthew 10 he says "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth," -- that is, at that time. "I came not to send peace but a sword," and the history of the world since that time has shown the truth of his words. "I am come to set son against father." How? Let history illustrate.
Sons who received Christ were estranged from fathers who did not receive him. They could only retain their friendship by denying Christ, but Christ called upon them to hate father rather than let love of father induce them to please father by rejecting him. They were not to love father more than him. He demanded to be put first. His words are "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me," and "he that findeth his life shall lose it."
Bro Roberts - Was Jesus of Nazareth The Messiah?
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
True discipleship is a work of soberness, of calm, fixed and determined purpose. No man can properly enter on it who does not resolve by the grace of God to fulfil all His requirements, and make it the prevailing and dominating business of his life. It will cost the mortification of sin, a life of self-denial, and a conflict with one's own lusts, as well as the enmity and ridicule of contemporaries. It may cost us our liberties and our life, and all that is dear to us -- but, as the apostle Paul states: "What things were gain to me, I counted loss for Christ..." (Phil. 3:7-8). We watch the Lord in his last hours and listen to his voice, and thereby learn the real spirit of discipleship. - GEM, Logos.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
It is no light matter to become a Christadelphian.
Jesus might well say to the people that were following him in crowds,
"If any man is not prepared to sacrifice everything for me, he cannot be my disciple." "Which of you," says he,
"wants to build a tower, and does not first sit down and count whether he is able to do it?"
It is no very small matter to believe the truth-though a very easy and pleasant thing. The truth is so clear and so glorious in itself, that this believing it is the easiest part of our duty; but we may nevertheless fail to become Christ's servants in deed and in truth.
It is in the doing of Christ's word that we gain the victory. It is in the keeping of his commandments that we have great reward. In the keeping of these, we must needs fellowship his sufferings, and shall then find his companionship at the table a new and delightful and a very profitable thing.
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Nov 1868
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
The eternal reward we claim to treasure so highly and seek so devotedly is perfection, spirituality, holiness, freedom from all the motions and lusts of the flesh, closeness to God, total godliness in thought and action.
How badly do we really want this condition, and what are we really willing to give up to get it?
If we are not willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING else, and drop everything else in this life to strive for perfection in these divine things, then we reveal that our professed devotion to them and desire for them is shallow and weak. We really want the pleasure of this life and the flesh -- and then God LATER, when this life is over, and the flesh is worn out and has lost its excitement and appeal.
Giving up what we have ceased to enjoy is no sacrifice. God wants our best NOW, not our dregs.
Often we do not recognize failure because we do not realize what success could be.
There are only two ways to be: only two sides to take -- God's side and the flesh's side. We have got to be all the way over on God's side in everything. We cannot mix it. We cannot have half-and-half.
Salvation depends on TOTAL choice of God's side of every decision, every issue, every choice, every activity. Face it: it's for your life.
34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
Lesson from the Meal offering (Lev 2): - There must be zest for acceptable service. Perfunctory or grudging service is an offering without a salty savour.