p9

to a return in another, unexpected form—a return, not from the unfortunates who have not the wherewithal to reciprocate the host’s kindness and graciousness, but from God himself. The host who invites such unfortunates will find himself among the ‘upright’ at the resurrection.”[1]

 

            Jesus tells a parable about the great dinner (vv. 15-24)

            Jesus’ reference to the resurrection of the righteous brings an immediate response. “One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, ‘Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” (Lk 14:15 NRSV). The reason for the Pharisee’s comment is not stated, but it may anticipate a heavenly banquet, where he believes he and others like him will be present. As such, he may be presenting the view of the “Pharisees and scribes [who] base their claim to the ‘resurrection of the righteous’ on their lineage as children of Abraham and their noble status.”[2] Of course, Jesus had just presented an alternative view which is counter to such a claim.

            Jewish eschatological ideas were often pictured as a great banquet. Jesus makes full use of this setting as he employs parables. Correspondingly Luke makes use of Jesus’ sayings to enlarge the understanding of his audience in the early church. “Finally, in evaluating the Jewish banquet practice and rationale, one must consider the common use in the OT of the image of the messianic banquet. Among the eschatological images often found in Judaism, the image of a great banquet was often employed to depict both the abundance of the hoped for future and the ultimate association of those chosen by God.”[3] Ironically the Pharisees fail to recognize the One who ushers in the kingdom of God, namely Jesus, who shares table fellowship with them.


[1] Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke, The Anchor Bible: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 28A (New Haven: Doubleday, 2005), 1045.
[2] Green, Gospel, 558.
[3] Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, eds., Dictionary of New Testament Background (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 144.

The Parable of the Great Banquet

page 9 of 13

Faith in  Christ   leads to action

 

Jesus told the parable of the great banquet (or the great dinner) while at a meal at the home of a Pharisee. The parable portrays how the kingdom of God includes people who are downtrodden – the Pharisees had dismissed such people. The parable is in the context of humility (Luke 14:11).