|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:15-24 In this parable observe the free grace and mercy of God shining in the gospel of Christ, which will be food and a feast for the soul of a man that knows its own wants and miseries. All found some pretence to put off their attendance. This reproves the Jewish nation for their neglect of the offers of Christ's grace. It shows also the backwardness there is to close with the gospel call. The want of gratitude in those who slight gospel offers, and the contempt put upon the God of heaven thereby, justly provoke him. The apostles were to turn to the Gentiles, when the Jews refused the offer; and with them the church was filled. The provision made for precious souls in the gospel of Christ, has not been made in vain; for if some reject, others will thankfully accept the offer. The very poor and low in the world, shall be as welcome to Christ as the rich and great; and many times the gospel has the greatest success among those that labour under worldly disadvantages and bodily infirmities. Christ's house shall at last be filled; it will be so when the number of the elect is completed.
Verses 15-24. - In reply to an observation of one of the guests, Jesus relates the parable of the great supper, in which he shows how few really cared for the joys of God's kingdom in the world to come. Verse 15. - And 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. One of those who were partaking of the banquet, and had witnessed the whole scene, now speaks to the Stranger Guest. He had looked on the miracle performed for the afflicted man: he had heard the wise words spoken by the Galilaean Rabbi; he had listened to the gentle and yet pungent rebuke to the Pharisee for his ostentatious hospitality to the rich and great; he had marked the quiet reminder as to the many sufferers who really stood in need of the viands so plentifully spread for those who wanted them not; he had been specially struck by the mention of the recompense which the just who remembered the poor would receive at the resurrection. This quiet observer, noticing that the Master's remarks were touching upon the recompense of the just in the world to come, now breaks in with a remark on the blessedness of him who should eat bread in the kingdom of God. The words do not seem to have been spoken in a mocking spirit, but to have been the genuine outcome of the speaker's admiration of the Guest so hated and yet so wondered at. There is, no doubt, lurking in the words a certain Pharisaic self-congratulation - a something which seems to imply, "Yes, that blessedness to which you, O Master, are alluding, I am looking forward confidently to share in. How happy will it be for us, Jews as we are, when the time comes for us to sit down at that banquet in the kingdom of heaven l"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when one of them that sat at meat with him,.... One of the Scribes, lawyers, or Pharisees, that were guests at this feast:
heard these things: which were spoken by Christ, and was pleased and affected with them, though he was ignorant:
he said unto him, blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God; in the world to come, in the kingdom of the Messiah; concerning feasting in which, the Jews had entertained very gross notions; and which this man was reminded of by Christ's making mention of the resurrection of the just, and of recompense at that time, which the Jews expected at the Messiah's coming. They suppose, that God will make a splendid feast, a sumptuous entertainment; in which, besides "bread", which they call, , "the bread of the kingdom", and "the bread of the world to come" (m), there will be great variety of flesh, fish, and fowl, plenty of generous wine, and all sorts of delicious fruit: particularly they speak of a large ox, which they suppose to be the Behemoth in Job, that will then be prepared; and of Leviathan and his mate, which will then be dressed; and of a large fowl, called Ziz, of a monstrous size; and of old wine kept in the grape from the creation of the world, which will then be drank; and of the rich fruits of the garden of Eden, that will then be served up (n): such gross and carnal notions have they entertained of the world to come; and which this man seemed to have imbibed, and placed happiness in.
(m) Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 82. fol. 72. 4. (n) See my Notes on the Targum in Cant. viii. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15-24. when one … heard … he said, Blessed, &c.—As our Lord's words seemed to hold forth the future "recompense" under the idea of a great Feast, the thought passes through this man's mind, how blessed they would be who should be honored to sit down to it. Our Lord's reply is in substance this: "The great Feast is prepared already; the invitations are issued, but declined; the feast, notwithstanding, shall not want abundance of guests; but not one of its present contemners—who shall yet come to sue for admission—shall be allowed to taste of it." This shows what was lacking in the seemingly pious exclamation of this man. It was Balaam's, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his" (Nu 23:10), without any anxiety about living his life; fondly wishing that all were right with him at last, while all heedless of the precious present.
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