Why is the ‘first last’ and the ‘last first’ in God’s economy?

One who is “first” here in life seldom exhibits behaviors and attitudes commanded by GOD. Right here in the US we have a prime example. Those who are content with modest behavior and who suppress self-seeking impulses often wind up “last.” The parable of placement at table illustrates this: a man comes early to a banquet and awards himself one of the choicer empty seats. Much later when all but a few, very lesser seats are full, a guest arrives whom the host intended to place in that high seat. The current occupant must move to one which is still open hence much humbler, i.e. not chosen by any other attendee. This is the way Jesus illustrates the idea that self-seeking is often unwise, especially if it involves arrogance or presumption. He gives a second part of the parable: a man arrives early and takes a very low seat; later the host may invite him to take a higher seat than he chose for himself, because the host knows the ‘worth’ of every invited guest.

Generalizing, those who exhibit modesty, who demand no special favors from the world at large, will find greater glory in heaven. Actually, glory in heaven is a tough concept, since GOD alone has glory. But if you want to imagine having a 3-D location that is “closer” to GOD, then think of the parable that way.

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