It’s really nice to reciprocate. If someone invites you over for a barbecue, it is nice to return the favor. Or, if someone lets you try out their new mountain bike, you should return the favor in some way.
Reciprocating is a nice way of saying, “Thank you.” But Jesus calls us to go beyond that.
In Luke 14 Jesus says that when you give a luncheon or dinner, do not just invite your friends, your brothers, or relatives, and don’t just invite your rich neighbors.
Most likely when you do that, they will reciprocate. They will invite you back for a luncheon or a dinner. That’s the right thing to do—but Jesus says there is something even better. What could be better?
He says when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
Jesus is reminding us of something very important. Don’t only do things that are of benefit to you. Don’t only help people who, one day, will be able to help you in return. We should help people who can never repay us. That’s the right thing to do.
Of course, we will be repaid—at the resurrection.
That’s a great lesson for all of us. Every day we need to do things that may not be of personal benefit to us.
I carry a plastic bag in my truck. There are lots of dirt roads where I live. I love dirt roads and open spaces. We have lots of those in Oklahoma.
But one of the things that makes me sad is the trash people leave along dirt roads. It’s hard for me to understand how people would want to mess up God’s beautiful country.
Well, I like to pick up that garbage. I’m not getting paid to pick up that garbage and put it in my bag. Nobody interviews me on the nightly news and tells everyone how nice I am—but that’s okay. I’m not doing it to get on the news. I don’t even want a part-time job with the sanitation department.
The lesson that Jesus is teaching is very important. Do the right thing. Nobody may notice. You might not get repaid in this life—but God notices, and does not forget.