And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 8:11
In verse 11 of Matthew 8, Jesus says that many will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
The word that has been translated “sit down” actually means “to recline at the table”. This picture is that all those who have faith like the Centurion’s faith will recline at a table alongside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and enjoy a great feast.
Tonight, as we enjoy the feast of the Lord’s Supper, we should remember two things.
Firstly, it is a great privilege to be invited to this feast.
Before Christ came, Gentiles like you and I would have had little opportunity to enjoy this meal. The Passover, which was the meal that celebrated the salvation of the people of God in the Old Testament, was given to the Jews and few Gentiles would have participated in it.
But we see in this story of the Centurion that salvation is now freely available to all those who place their trust in Christ, both Jew and Gentile. Now, Christ says, many Gentiles will come from the east and the west, from all tribes and tongues and nations, to recline at the table to feast with the fathers of faith, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There have been 6000 years of history and it is an incredible privilege to sit down at this table in the 2000 years after Christ.
Secondly, the Lord’s Supper connects us with a huge family who also share in this feast.
The Lord’s Supper is never an individual act. We eat and drink together. Every time we eat and drink the Lord’s Supper together, we should look around at those who are eating and drinking with us and be astonished at the shared communion with have with Christ.
This should drive us to love one another because Jesus body was broken and His blood was shed for the person eating and drinking next to you as well as for you. This should drive us to unity, because we all share in “one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Eph 4:4-6)
But this should also cause us to remember that this Supper connects us with a long history of people who had faith in Christ. Adam and Eve, who looked forward to the coming Seed, feast on the same broken bread and poured out wine and we do. Abraham and Isaac and Jacob enjoy eternal life by feeding on the same Christ that you and I do.
In fact, as we eat this Supper as just a few Christians in Western Sydney, we should remember that this is just the entrée. This feast will one day be surpassed by a greater feast where our host, Jesus Christ, will recline at the table with millions and millions of saints at the great marriage supper of the Lamb.