Introduction. Jesus is invited to a leading Pharisee's home for dinner. The other guests have him under scrutiny - lawyers and other pharisees. Jesus offers two lessons.
Parable. At one level Jesus is offering good advice about social etiquette. It is not wise to take the top place at the table for fear of being moved on. But Luke identifies this piece of good advice as a parable with a profound message. In this case it is about the strong reversal at the end of time, when the poor and the outcast will be welcomed at the Table of the Messianic banquet and the self-important will find themselves outside. This is greatly more embarrassing than momentary social shame.
Teaching. Jesus teaches that the niceties of social behaviour should be abandoned altogether and replaced with a preferential invitation to those who are in no position to return the favour: "repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again."