Jesus was using this dinner among the Pharisees to illustrate spiritual truths. He spoke about being a guest, and then, about being a host. This was easy to understand in a literal, practical way. But the lessons are much broader in scope than just being invited or inviting others to events. The truth about humility and grace is timeless.
Jesus noticed how the guests were maneuvering for positions at the table. As He waited, the only position left would have been the seat of least honor. He told them that they should avoid selfishly seeking honor, because they set themselves up for humiliation. The way up is down (Proverbs 27:2, 29:23 / Matthew 23:12 / James 4:6, 10 / 1 Peter 5:5-6).
Jesus taught that the host can also reveal a lack of humility. When planning a party, the temptation is to invite those who promote our standing, those most likely to do us some good in return. We are tempted to give in order to get. Jesus taught that this practice should not only be revised, but reversed.
The way of the world is to invite people in order to gain from their reciprocal invitations and hospitality. The way of the Word is to be gracious to the helpless and to those who cannot pay us back. Doing so assures us of God’s blessings in heaven.
You invite the blessing of God by investing your blessing in others. This is part of what Jesus means when He says we are to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20).