Luke 14 v 15. “When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
The criticisms of Jesus to the attitudes displayed at the dinner he was attending prompted one of his fellow-guests to make the remark “Blessed is the man who shall eat at the banquet in the Kingdom of God”.
This sentiment was true enough. In Jewish thinking there was the thought that the glorious reign of the coming Messiah would be like a great banquet. It was that to which this man was referring. However, Christians know that the true Kingdom of God will be a place of very great joy and that is also described as a feast or banquet. So Jesus here plays on that idea to make several important points.
But it is worth noticing first that no one is invited to that feast on the basis of his own merit or importance. Nor will anyone, at that great feast, ever get to parade himself, like some did at the feasts in Jesus’ day.
The other great fact of this feast of the Messiah is that there is absolutely no way we can ever repay Him for His generosity. It is a free gift and it is provided by the Lord Himself.
Grace is a hard idea for us to swallow because built into our DNA is the idea of paying our way, earning our privileges or deserving the favours that come to us. It is difficult for us as imperfect human beings to fully grasp that we get to Heaven by Grace, i.e. gratis, for nothing – once we have turned to Jesus.
Of course, Christians also know the other side of the coin. Although the invitation to the banquet costs us nothing, it cost Jesus everything. The Messiah was a suffering Messiah. The cross upon which He died was the key that lets us into the Banquet.
What a glorious privilege.