Nolan Ryan, an outstanding baseball player, let his talent speak for itself. Rickey Henderson, also outstanding, did not. On May 1, 1991, Henderson stole a base for the 939th time, becoming baseball’s all-time number one stolen base leader. Rickey stopped the game, tore third base from the ground and held it high over his head like a trophy before the cheering crowd. This was his day! After the game, standing beside his friend, his mentor, and the man who used to hold the record, Rickey announced to the world, “Lou Brock was the best base-stealer in his time. But today, I’m the greatest of all time.”
Jesus noticed who sat where as he had dinner with a bunch of religious leaders, so he told a parable.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.” ~Luke 14:8-9
Unfortunately (for Rickey), on that same day, 44-year old Nolan Ryan threw his 7th no-hitter, three more than second place and the oldest pitcher to throw one, After the game, Nolan Ryan quietly showered and went home. The next morning, Rickey did make the front page of the sports section, but below the fold, because above the fold, the large headline read, “Nolan Ryan Steals the Thunder.”
“But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~Luke 14:10-11
Take the most humble seat and you will find yourself sitting next to Jesus.
Awesome God, Jesus, Your Son, left His seat in heaven and took the lowest place on earth, the cross. The place I belonged. And yet, in that low place, His is the Name above every name, King of kings, Lord of lords, and every knee shall bow.
What is amazing is that I do not need to steal Your glory. You made me in Your image, and because of the work of Your Son, I am heir to your riches. I did nothing to deserve it, but through Your grace, I am a child of God. Make me more like You, Jesus. Empty my pride. May I live to lift others up high enough to see how wonderful You are.