March 10, 2016: A Banquet for All Nations
From east and west, from north and south (v. 29).
Today’s question (“Will only a few be saved?”), like the last (“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”), has to do with the way to heaven. Here Jesus’ answer ignores the topic of “how many,” and becomes an urgent plea that we should make sure we are going there, not just assume we are.
But in doing this he gives us two mind-stretching glimpses of what heaven will be like. First, we shall “eat in the kingdom of God”! In chapter 14 he will also say a lot about banquets and compare life in the kingdom to a “great dinner.” Of course heaven will be pure and holy and free from all evil. Of course it will be filled with the glory and praise of God. But it will also be a party: the best party imaginable, “pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Secondly, people of every kind will be there. Jesus says that heaven will be filled with “Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets,” and every single Israelite believer, naturally; but also countless “outsiders,” “from east and west, from north and south,” the multitude “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,” that John sees in the vision of Revelation 7. What an exciting prospect!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the joys that await us in heaven.
Today’s devotional was written by Michael Wilcock, a retired pastor in the Church of England. This Lenten series comes from Words of Hope, whose mission is to build the church in the hard places through media. To learn more about the organization or subscribe to Words of Hope’s daily devotions, visit www.woh.org.