60. About banquets.
Although the house is large, the door is narrow; one must know where one is going and watch to get in. To attain soul consciousness one must follow the spiritual teachings. Merely having been associated with the Christ is not enough, if one continues to do wrong. The great prophets and people from every part of the earth rise into soul awareness and find rest, but those who are negative must learn to handle their frustration. In the spiritual consciousness everything becomes a unity; as an example, the last ones to make it seem to be in the first place compared to the first ones who now seem last.
Even in Galilee Herod felt threatened by Jesus because of his power. Jesus was not afraid of Herod, but he knew that he must go to Jerusalem for the tragic drama. Again Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath out of the simple kindness that would help anyone who needed it.
Observing how many loved the prestige of the best seats, Jesus showed how humility is more successful and happier than egotism. Rather than placing oneself above others which is the natural human tendency, be modest and let others recognize your worth and praise you at the level you more objectively deserve. The human consciousness will strive for a balance; therefore it is quite true that people will try to bring down the one who has exalted oneself, while they will want to lift up those who humble themselves.
Jesus recommended that people give to others without expecting anything in return, thus transcending karma in the grace of God. The brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity is demonstrated when we give to those who are in the greatest need regardless of their relationship to us. The reward for such actions is spiritual, and the expansion of love expressed is often experienced inwardly as sublime joy.
This picture of various people feasting together as one family called to mind in one listener the sovereignty of heaven. Therefore Jesus told another parable based on this image. The Christ has prepared a place of joy and invited many people to attend; but when he sent his minister out to those invited, these people had something in their lives that was more important to them than this fellowship and thus refused to come. So the master sent the servant out again to the poor and afflicted who were grateful to attend such a joyous occasion. Often it is the poor who accept the Spirit most readily, for others are too busy handling their concerns of this world.