Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D
As we have seen, it was during mealtimes with His apostles after His resurrection that our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated most convincingly that He was the same person as the One who had died on the cross. But the greatest recognition and appreciation meal with our Lord is still in the future. On that occasion, at the beginning of the millennial kingdom on the earth, He will partake again of the juice of grapes. He announced to His apostles, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29, KJV).
Pointedly, He assured them, “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” (Luke 22:30). But who else will be invited? Unbelievers will be excluded—by their own choice. Nevertheless, there will an enormous number of participants, including, “Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets… . they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God” (13:28-29).
Soon after He had said this, our Lord “went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread” (14:1). After telling His host how guests should be invited on an impartial basis, “when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God” (14:15).
That was the providential opportunity for the Lord Jesus to give His parable of the great supper. Sadly, in this amazing parable, our Lord described those who declined the gracious invitation with unbelievable excuses. He then concluded, “Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind… . For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper” (14:21, 24).
It was not that the invitation was unclear or that the menu was questionable. The defining issue was a lack of desire to bond personally with “the master of the house.”
Isaiah gives us even more information about that great kingdom banquet and its ultimate purpose: “And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined” (Isa. 25:6).
But note the purpose and outcome of this stupendous banquet: “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations… . And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (25:7, 9).
Yes, at the dawn of the kingdom age, on the occasion of the great banquet, “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (11:9), so that “they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD” (Jer. 31:34).
He will not be a mere theophany. No one will question that his Savior truly rose from the dead with a glorified body, as the God-man forever. It will be like that never-to-be-forgotten meal with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, when the Lord Jesus “took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him” (Luke 24:30, 31).
| Dr. John C. Whitcomb has been a professor of Old Testament and theology for more than 50 years and is widely recognized as a leading biblical scholar. He taught at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN) from 1951-1990 and gained much recognition for his work on The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company), which he co-authored with Dr. Henry Morris in 1961. That book has been credited as one of the major catalysts for the modern Biblical creationism movement. His ministry homepage is Whitcomb Ministries, and his sermons are available at SermonAudio.com.