Getting the best place can be the difference between a great time or a bad time at the movies, theater, stadium, arena, restaurant, checkout line, or even church. It's one of the first things we do when we enter a place with seating - "What's the best seat?" Having the best position can be critical in racing events. And there is a whole lot more.
In short, the ways of the world have us always seeking to position ourselves favorably. However, God and Jesus mess things up.
Psalm 113 makes it clear who is in the best position and unsurprisingly that is God, exalted on the throne on high. But God stoops down to look upon creation. The order of things seems a bit wrong and God decides that they should be fixed, raising up the poor and needy to sit with the princes, and blessing the childless woman with a job at happily mothering children. This creates that abomination of all: line jumpers. We hate that, but God does it, raising the bottom to the top and granting blessing to the one believed cursed.
Jesus seems to be reading from the same playbook as his Father-God. At a dinner, he tells the guests a (kind of) parable about an invitation to a wedding feast (read "the messianic banquet at the end of the age"). He teaches that guests should seek the less favored seat lest the host asks them to move down, causing shame and embarrassment. This way, the host could invite you to a better seat, bringing a sense of honor and respect.
Then Jesus teaches about the kinds of guests they should invite to their own lunches and dinners. Not people already known to them from their social circle, but the poor and needy who apparently aren't part of their social circle.
Both are lessons about downward mobility among those faithful to Jesus. There are teachings about the nature of the Kingdom and how to live and act in ministry within it. Find out what this means for those quite comfortable and secure like us by watching the sermon video below.