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Luke 14:15 - When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!"

What would have been his understanding of the "kingdom of God" as a jew of his time? Did he mean the new kingdom that the Messiah would bring?

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  • This is a very broad question as it takes in the context of the parable (verses 7-11) the exhortation (verses 12-14) the man's statement (verse 15) and Jesus' response (verses 16-24). A consideration of less than that whole context would not do justice to the man's comment or its fundamental meaning.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 24, 2019 at 14:08
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the questioner seems to have closed their account.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 24, 2019 at 15:49
  • @OzzieNicolas I don't know how it can be kept open when the OP is 'not present' and cannot accept the answer.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 25, 2019 at 1:47

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Judaism expects the Kingdom of God to be brought in by the Messiah:

http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

What Will the Mashiach Do?

Before the time of the mashiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16) The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).

Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age

The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term "messianic age" to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.

Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people (Isaiah 2:4). Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.

All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.

In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.

So the speaker in Luke 14:15 was being skeptical about Jesus’s claims to be the Messiah, in the absence of these signs. But Jesus taught a different view of what the Kingdom of God would be. The victory was not over political foes, but spiritual ones:

John 3:3Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

When Jesus tells Nicodemus that unless a person needed to be born again, they would not enter the kingdom of God, He was talking about a situation where a person would have access to union with God, so that even the demons submitted to them, apart from the ability to do other things that showed God's involvement, His finger. He and Nicodemus were talking about the same thing, only He called it the Kingdom of God:

John 3:1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Luke 11:20"But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

All Scripture from the NASB.

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The answer is 'Yes', the man in Luke 14:15 did mean the kingdom of God that the Messiah would bring. He listened to Jesus, saying

13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

The man who was likely a Pharisee, should be able to link the quote of Jesus to the book of Isaiah, who prophesied the Lord, the Messiah when He returns 'In that day';

6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines. (Isaiah 25:6 NIV)

18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.

19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:18-19 NIV)

The man correctly understood Jesus referred to the feast in the kingdom of God. But he thought in the feast only the Jews are present. Subsequent to his response (Luke 14:15) Jesus told the parable of the Great Banquet in order to correct the misunderstanding of the Jews. Whether the man understood the parable, the scripture did not say.

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Re Q What did the man in Luke 14:15 mean by the Kingdom of God. Working on the premise of the Kingdom of God being the same as Kingdom of heaven see Matthew 5:3 and it being an earthly kingdom see Daniel 2: 35b --" and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole EARTH (note). Then it will certainly be a blessing to be there .As it will be those who have found Grace in the eyes of the Lord. See GENESIS 6:8 "But Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord."Also Ephesians 2:8&9 So to answer the question simple-its an earthly kingdom.With a sit down meal here. They saw it as an earthly kingdom. He realised as stated in Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: For they shall inherit the earth."

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The discovery of the Dead Scrolls sheds light on this particular passage. The man may have been a follower of the Essene tradition, in which the Messiah of Israel would preside over inaugural feast, which would begin by the his blessing of bread. The Qumran Community's Community Rule (1QSa 2) states:

The seating of the Men of the Name who are invited to the Feast'.... When God engenders [the] Messiah, he shall come with them [at] the head of the whole congregation of Israel with all [his brethren, the sons] of Aaron the Priests... Thereafter, the Messiah of Israel shall extend his hand over the bread, [and] all the congregation of the Community [shall utter a] blessing, [each man in the order] of his dignity.

The Kingdom of God

If the man quoted in Luke was indeed an Essene, his concept of the Kingdom of God would involve two messiahs: one priestly and the other royal, as indicated in the passage above. The priestly messiah is descended from Aaron, the royal messiah from David. The priestly messiah would purge the Temple of it current corrupt practices and institute a purified tradition of priesthood, which the Essenes themselves were preparing. The royal messiah would be a descendant of David who would overthrow Roman rule and reestablish the Davidic dynasty. The Essenes were extremely strict in their observance of the Law of Moses, so we may presume that upholding their interpretation of the religious law was a key part of their vision of God's kingdom.

So, yes, the man was referring to the messianic kingdom and the messianic banquet over which the messiah would pronounce his blessing. Jesus had not yet declared himself at this point, so it is uncertain if the man was expressing a sense of honor at dining in Jesus' presence, or simply affirming a typical Essene hope. Jesus clearly understood him to be referring to the messianic banquet, for he responded by telling the parable of the Great Dinner, in which those invited, sadly, do not come.

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Daniel prophesied that "the Lord of heaven [would] set up a kingdom" in the latter days:

Daniel 2:34, 44 Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces. ... in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever.

Therefore, there was expected by the Jews "God's Kingdom" — the Kingdom of God.

Doubtless, too, they would have recognized that this overlapped with the Messiah's eternal reign, making the Messianic reign simultaneous with the Kingdom of God, as is clear in retrospect from Jesus' words even to non-Jewish hearers now.

Daniel 7:14 And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.

Jesus' original hearers, then, were left in no doubt as to what Jesus was doing in Matthew 16:

Matthew 16:13-19 And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? 14 But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? 16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

(That, and the whole episode of building the church is an allusion to the second chapter of Daniel which is about the kingdom of God being built by God Himself.)

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