Matthew 21:23-46

Up until this point Jesus has been trying to keep the religious leadership somewhat at bay for His “hour had not yet come” (a favorite expression of John). That explains why He is somewhat secretive and doesn’t always want others to talk about His miracles. But that has all changed. His time has now come! He is publicly proclaimed as a king with the triumphal entry. He cleanses the temple. He defends His authority. He proclaims that the tax collectors and prostitutes are more righteous than the religious authorities. And finally, He proclaims God’s judgment on the nation for their past refusal to listen to God’s prophets and their present refusal to listen to God’s Son. Is it any wonder that they want to arrest Him?!?!?!?

And it’s the last parable that prompts Jesus to make His ultimate point. Since the majority of Israel’s people and leadership reject their Messiah, the kingdom will be taken from them as a nation and given to a people who will produce it’s fruit. Jesus is referring to the carrying of the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and their inclusion in God’s kingdom. But that doesn’t mean that God completely rejects the Jewish people. The church is made up of both Jew and Gentile, with God accepting all who are willing to believe in Jesus!

Romans 9:23-26 “And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he also says in Hosea: ‘I will call those who were not my people, “My people,” and I will call her who was unloved, “My beloved.”‘ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

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