Parable of the Exalted Wedding Guest – Sermon Application #1
In the parable of the exalted wedding guest, Jesus dealt with one of the root sins of the human heart – the sin of pride. This sin proves the depths of the deceitfulness of the human heart, for though we all struggle with pride, we rarely recognize it as such. It is only by the shining spotlight of God’s word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit that we can be convicted of our pride and humbled in the sight of the Lord.
Application to the theology of pride:
Pride makes much of us and little of others (Php. 2:3-4; Rom. 11:17-20; Luke 18:9-12). Pride puts us far above helping others (Ps. 10:2; Ezek. 16:49; 1 Tim. 6:17) and far from needing help from God (1 Cor. 10:12). Pride seeks to keep others below us (3 Jhn. 9) and bucks against authorities above us (Num. 12:2). Pride rushes to judgment without understanding (Prov. 18:13) and quarrels in superfluous matters (1 Tim. 1:4, 6:3, 4; 2 Tim. 2:23; Col. 2:18). Pride is easily offended and wounded pride is a great destroyer (Judg. 12:1). Pride takes credit for what God has done (1 Cor. 4:7), glories in self rather than God (Jer. 9:23-24; Ps. 10:4), and boasts of the future (Jas. 4:13-16; Is. 9:9-10). Pride cares for religion in man’s sight and not the heart in God’s sight (Matt. 6:1).
Application to prayer:
Rather than humbly acknowledging our sins, we are inclined to justify ourselves by compensating, rationalizing, or blame-shifting. Rather than being humbled by the realization of our faults, we minimize our sins to maintain our positive self-esteem. In this way, we blind ourselves to our true state. The Bible says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits (Prov. 16:2).” While self-loathing must not take our eyes off Jesus, there is a place for self-humiliation in our approach to Him (Jas. 4:8-9; Matt. 5:4; 2 Cor. 7:10; Eccles. 7:4; Nehemiah 1:4, 2:8, 3; Ezra 9-10). As long as we harbor sin-denying pride, God will resist us and possibly discipline us (Jas. 4:6). Instead of holding on to any inflated views of self, let’s own ourselves sinners saved by grace and live in lowliness at the foot of the cross!
Application by way of self-examination:
Pride is by definition a self-blinding sin since we have nothing really to be proud about (1 Cor. 4:7; Jhn. 9:40). The more blind a person becomes in his pride, the more clearly he sees the faults of others (Matt. 7:3; Rom. 2:1). Those blinded by pride, being insensible of their own weaknesses, are often rudely uncharitable in their judgments and words. The proud are often the first to spot “pride” in others (1 Sam. 17:28). Let’s examine our judgments and words about other Christians. Have we held others to a higher standard than ourselves? Are we more aware of the sins of others than our own?