Table fellowship and the eschatological kingdom in the Emmaus narrative of Luke 24
From the perspective of the Emmaus narrative in Luke 24, this thesis is a literary critical analysis of Jesus' table fellowship as an expression of the eschatological kingdom. Other themes in Luke's Gospel are interpreted as they relate to table fellowship and eschatology. The first two chapters establish the programmatic character of Luke 24. Chapters three through five examine the structure of the Emmaus narrative by analyzing five concentric circles (24:13-16, 31-33). Chapters six through twelve interpret the center circle divided into the colloquium (24:17-27), the breaking of the bread (24:28-30), and the conclusion (24:34-35). These chapters introduce the colloquium's setting, investigate the christology of the Emmaus disciples and Jesus' opponents, analyze Lukan meals and meal metaphors, and focus on the teaching and meal of Jesus at Emmaus. In eating with society's outcasts, Jesus teaches about the kingdom and the forgiveness of sins. His table fellowship provides a motive for the Jewish authorities to plot his death. The first time Jesus is recognized by faith as the crucified and now risen Messiah occurs in the Emmaus narrative of burning hearts from the teaching "on the road " and revelation "in the breaking of the bread." This culminates Jesus' table fellowship. The recognition of the risen Christ in Jesus at Emmaus is at the same time an acknowledgment of the presence of the eschatological kingdom in his table fellowship. Emmaus is the transition between the meals of Jesus and early Christian meals. Thus Emmaus is both the climax of Luke 24 and the Gospel. As an anamnesis of Jesus' entire table fellowship, it sets the pattern of Christian worship as one of teaching and eating.