Who will take part in the banquet? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
As we look at eschatology in Matthew, we see next that Jesus is approached by a centurion for the healing of a servant. The centurion makes a statement that indicates that He knows Jesus is a man of authority and all He needs to do is speak a word and what He wants will be done. This is someone who really understands more about Jesus than Jesus’s fellow Jews did.
So the eschatology in this comes when we see what Jesus says about this man who would be seen as a pagan at worst and a God-fearer at best. Nothing is said about his circumcision status. The only thing we know about him really is how he saw Jesus.
You might want to think that this is just a guy pandering, like a politician might. There’s no reason to think that either. He really has a sick servant. He really wants Jesus to come to Him. He really believes Jesus is capable. This is a man who understands the authority that Jesus would have in relation to the God of Israel.
Jesus is amazed at the faith of this Gentile man and then says that many will come to feast with the patriarchs but they will be cast out. What a shock this must have been for the Jewish people in the time of Jesus. They, the ones who have the blood of Abraham in their veins, will not get to dine with father Abraham in the new Kingdom?
Yes. They won’t. Jesus is now saying at this point that your lineage doesn’t determine your status before God. God is looking for something else besides who’s your daddy. He’s looking for those who have faith in Him. Notice that Jesus doesn’t just say that this Gentile is coming.
No. He says many will come from all over the world, hence the references to the directions. They will take part in that feast. They will be the recipients of the Kingdom.
Not only this, but how does Jesus know this? He doesn’t tell us, but there’s nothing that says, “This is what I think will happen.” Jesus is not giving any hint He’s giving an opinion and frankly, He never does. This is something else amazing about Jesus. Jesus always speaks every time as if He’s 100% right and yet we still genuinely and rightly see Him as a man of humility.
This also will show that my interpretation about the narrow and wide gate is likely right. Jesus says few will find His way and then right here says many will come. Jesus consistently says few of His generation will see the Kingdom. It’s when we get after His generation that we see people who will see the Kingdom more and more and these among the Gentiles.
This would be staggering to a Jew to hear. Gentiles could come into the Kingdom, sure, but they would have to become Jews first. Jesus says nothing about this man becoming a Jew. What do we know about this man’s faith? It’s in Jesus. Jesus is setting this up as the new standard. Your position in the Kingdom is determined by how you see Him.
More and more we have to realize that Jesus said the most incredible things that have been said by any human being ever. No one ever spoke like Him and if any of us tried, we would not be able to do it. Try and speak like you’re the one that all reality should focus on and everything you say is not an opinion but pure fact. See how well you do.
Jesus tells His disciples at one point to strive to enter into the Kingdom. We know it is by faith in Christ. Let us have that faith in Christ.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)