The Eschatology of the Great Banquet

05 Nov
Sword of Isaiah

from Google Images

In Luke 14:16-24 Jesus told the Parable of the Great Banquet. He told it to the Jewish authorities who were with him in the home of one of the chief Pharisees, where he was invited to dine under suspicious circumstances (Luke 14:1). During the course of events that occurred there, Jesus told those who were there of a man (God) who had made a great banquet and invited many (i.e. the Jews). They had received an exclusive invitation to the event (under Moses), but, as circumstances would have it, those who had been invited made excuses to the Servant (Jesus) who came to offer the second invitation,[1] saying the banquet was now ready (Luke 14:17-20).

Therefore, after the Servant (Jesus) returned to the Master of the house (i.e. the Father) to tell him what had occurred, he told Jesus to invite others who had not been invited under the terms of the first invitation (cf. Luke 14:21-23), saying that those who had been invited (i.e. through Moses) would not taste of his great banquet (Luke 14:24).

The point is that Jesus, in telling this parable, was drawing from Isaiah 65:2. There it is said that God had stretched forth his arms all day to a rebellious people, who walked after their own thoughts, rather than that which was good. The context is that, instead of being embraced by those to whom the Lord had gone, he was received, rather, by folks who hadn’t sought him at all (Isaiah 65:1). In other words, the Lord looked for the Jews to respond to him. In fact, all day long (during Jesus’ ministry) he held out his arms to them, but they refused him. However, when Paul took the Gospel to the Diaspora, the Lord was found by the gentiles (cf. Romans 10:20-21). So, Paul applied Isaiah’s words to Jesus’ generation. Paul claimed that Isaiah 65:1-2 justified his ministry to the gentiles.

If this is so, then Isaiah 65:12 is the Lord’s judgment upon that very generation that rejected Jesus. The Lord tells his rebellious people that he would appoint them to the sword, and they would fall in the day of slaughter. Why? Because, they refused to respond when he called out to them. It was because they closed their ears and simply wouldn’t believe the Gospel Jesus preached to them. Instead of believing, they rejected him as their Messiah and crucified him.

No matter how one looks at the Gospel narratives, Jesus’ eschatology went no further than the end of the Old Covenant. In the context of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:16-24), which is the Wedding Feast of Matthew 25:1-13 (see also Matthew 22:2-14), the end of the Old Covenant occurred at the return of the Jesus, the Bridegroom of Matthew 25, at the end of the age in 70 AD. The righteous remnant (those Jews who believed the Gospel) were betrothed to Christ at Pentecost, but the marriage wasn’t consummated, until he returned (Matthew 25:10) at what the Apostles’ referred to as the “end of the age” (Matthew 24:3). That occurred when the Gospel was preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14; Romans 16:25-26; Colossians 1:6, 23) to draw both Jews and gentiles (cf. Luke 14:21-23) to the banquet or the Marriage Feast.

Luke 14:24 says that those who were invited (but refused) would not taste of the Lord’s banquet. In fact, the Lord had appoint them to the sword (Isaiah 65:12; cf. Matthew 22:7), and he would slay them, and they would cease to be a nation, and, of course, this occurred in the war between the Jews and Rome, which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple


[1] See my earlier study: The Parable of the Two Invitations


Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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2 responses to “The Eschatology of the Great Banquet

  1. Eddie

    November 27, 2017 at 10:29

    Greetings Shari, and thanks for reading and for your encouraging comment. I believe the idea is not literal food but the satisfaction we derive from what the Lord has done. Jerusalem had been the persecutor of the believing community throughout the waiting period (cir. 31 AD to 70 AD). With the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the righteous had been vindicated, and their persecutors had been punished. They would no longer be able to persecute them from city to city. The Romans, of course, were also satisfied in the booty they collected from Jerusalem and the reputation they gained in her destruction would tend to calm any other disputes in the Middle East. So, all in all, the “supper” or “banquet” satisfied all (except of course, the Jews whom the Lord judged).

    Lord bless you.

  2. librarygeek

    November 26, 2017 at 21:35

    Revelation ch 19 makes more sense from this perspective. In verses 6-9 we are rejoicing that the marriage supper of the Lamb has come and the Bride is making herself ready dressed in white. It seems a lovely ending after all the judgment of the previous chapters. But then we see the Bridegroom ride up on a white horse, but His garments are dipped in blood (v.13) and the birds are invited in v.17-18 to come to the supper of the Great God to feast upon the kings and mighty men. So even if this isn’t what we always look forward to in Heaven as the marriage supper of the Lord, it does appear to agree with your view that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb was a bloody affair.

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