Banquet Seating 101

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Lk 14:1, 7-11
“…When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor….”

In Jesus discussion about where to sit at a banquets, or a table for a meal, he is directly challenging Mediterranean culture as this seating order was very formalized. To be placed at the wrong spot could be quite the offense, yet Jesus tells his disciples to ignore the place of honor and go to the lowest positions. He demonstrates in this brief passage first the radical nature of his ministry, and second a bit about how his disciples or Apostles are to rule in his Kingdom.For the nature of his ministry, Jesus levels the playing field by ignoring hierarchy:no longer is the emphasis placed on wealth and rank but rather it is placed on the gathering as a whole where all are equal in the eyes of God.Secondly in the Governance of his Kingdom the rule moves away fro the client -patron style that was so prominent where the patron exercises all authority. The Governance moves towards leaders that are servants of the people for the betterment of all. This certainly would have been a radical thought in the first century. At that time rule was by absolute authority, a time of Kings and Slaves where Kings power was supreme including power over life and death.Imagine how empowered a Slave must have felt dining next to a King.Imagine a Kingdom where the King valued the opinion of its most impovrished citizen, and valued that impovrished citizen.Quite a radical idea indeed!

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