October 18: The Rejected Son (Matthew 21:33-46)
This Sunday Josh C. will continue the Christians and Culture series at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project.
“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord's doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. (ESV)
Jesus has entered Jerusalem and declared his kingship. He then demonstrated his reign by restoring the temple, healing the blind and lame, preaching the kingdom of God, and calling men and women to salvation. This is what he has always done. Yet as we saw last week, rather than responding with gratitude, the religious leaders were indignant. Jesus then gives three parables to these leaders (21:28-22:14). In the second parable (21:33-46), Jesus uses the history of God’s dealings with Israel to indict them for their fruitlessness as God’s chosen leaders and their rejection of God's servants, including even his Son, Jesus as Messiah. Thankfully the grace of God is greater than the foolishness of his chosen people and we see evidence that the kingdom of God will be established and expanded to the ends of the world. This news, if believed, leads us to marvel over God's grace and the glory of the Son.
Review and Apply
1. Explain the parable in your own words.
2. What is Jesus predicting about the future as it concerns the leadership of Israel, himself and the kingdom of God?
3. Why does Jesus ask if these biblical scholars have ever read the scriptures?
4. What are the causes of these leaders' rebellion and hard heartedness?
5. What is marvelous about the rejected stone being the cornerstone? How do you marvel over Jesus?
6. What characterizes the people of the kingdom?
7. What evidence is there for your belief that you are in the kingdom of God? Give examples in your own life.
8. What privileges of God do you have and how have you stewarded them?
9. Where in this passage is the promise of the eternal nature of the kingdom?
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