And he who invited both of you will come to you and say, Let this man have the place [you have taken]. Then, with humiliation and a guilty sense of impropriety, you will begin to take the lowest place.
The host, who invited both of you, will come to you and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be ·embarrassed [humiliated; disgraced; shamed] and will have to move to the ·last [least; lowest] place.
“When you are invited to a wedding reception, don’t sit down in the best seat. It might happen that a more distinguished man than you has also been invited. Then your host might say, ‘I am afraid you must give up your seat for this man.’ And then, with considerable embarrassment, you will have to sit in the humblest place. No, when you are invited, go and take your seat in an inconspicuous place, so that when your host comes in he may say to you, ‘Come on, my dear fellow, we have a much better seat than this for you.’ That is the way to be important in the eyes of all your fellow-guests! For everyone who makes himself important will become insignificant, while the man who makes himself insignificant will find himself important.”
He went on to tell a story to the guests around the table. Noticing how each had tried to elbow into the place of honor, he said, “When someone invites you to dinner, don’t take the place of honor. Somebody more important than you might have been invited by the host. Then he’ll come and call out in front of everybody, ‘You’re in the wrong place. The place of honor belongs to this man.’ Red-faced, you’ll have to make your way to the very last table, the only place left.
The host will then bring him over to where you are sitting and ask for your seat, saying in front of all the guests, ‘You’re in the wrong place. Please give this person your seat.’ Disgraced, you will have to take whatever seat is left.
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