The Miracles of Jesus

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Give an account of The parable of the Great Feast [35 marks] Jesus has just addressed the guests at a banquet he is attending. He has wanted them not to choose the best seats, but instead choose the lowest place because ‘all who make themselves great will be humbles, and those who humble themselves will be made great’. A reminder here of the Magnificent and the idea that Jesus message turns the normal social structure on its head. Bock notes how at an ancient meal, the table was usually in the shape of a U, and the host sat at the base. Banks notes that on another level, triggered as it is by the guests remarks, the parable probably relates to the eschatological feast of God’s kingdom. The ‘master’ represents God, the banquet his Kingdom and the three groups of invites have been understood to stand, in turn, for the Jewish leaders, Jewish outcasts and the Gentiles. Bock notes how according to Jesus you should not seek a seat of honour, for a more distinguished person may arrive who gets your seat. Then the host will ask you to move, and you will have to move to the least important seat. That move will come with a sense of shame. The mention of shame is important because in ancient culture, honour and shame were key issues of a person’s identity, worth and character. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled by God. Jesus then turns to the host of the banquet and one again gives a negative statement followed by a positive statement. Don’t offer invitations to your relatives and rich friends, instead offer them to the poor, cripples, the lame and the blind. Back notes that Jesus calls to serve those who cannot repay our kindness. notes that the cultural expectation of reciprocation ensured that if people were hosts to their inner circle and the socially powerful, then they in turn would be their guests. Bock notes that Jesus’s point is that loving and hosting those who love you and are your friends is not inherently morally commendable. True righteousness does...
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