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96: Three Kingdom Oriented Parables

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 21:28-22:14

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 21:28-22:14       Mark 12:1-12       Luke 20:9-19

Key Verse: Matt. 22:14

Outline:

  1. A Vineyard and Two Sons Matt. 21:28-32
  2. A Vineyard and Its Owner Matt. 21:33-46
  3. The Wedding Banquet Matt. 22:1-14

Context/Discussion/Comments:

In essence, this is a continuation of Lesson 95 which takes place in the temple area on Tuesday morning before Jesus’ crucifixion. The Jewish leaders are in attendance and so is a crowd. Jesus transitions from being challenged about His authority to telling three parables describing the issues that will prevent the majority of Jews from entering the Kingdom of God.

The first parable concerns a man who had two sons. He asks each son to go work in his vineyard. The first son says no and then changes his mind and goes. The second son says yes but never goes. In this parable:

The father      =    God

First Son         =    Gentiles or Jews who secretly believed

Second Son    =    Jews

The second parable concerns a landowner who plants a vineyard, outfitting it with walls, a wine press, and a tower before leaving on a journey. He hires tenants to work the vineyard and produce a crop. When harvest time comes, the landowner sends his servants to collect the goods. The tenants beat and killed all his servants. The owner sends his son and they kill him too. Involving the crowd, Jesus asks what the owner will do when he returns. Their response is correct. The owner will dispose of the current tenants in favor of new tenants. Jesus references this parable to Psalm 118 about the capstone the builders rejected, referring to Himself. The Jewish leaders understood what Jesus was saying but they refuse to believe and continued in earnest to find a way to arrest Jesus and kill Him. In this parable:

Landowner     =      God the Father

Son                     =      Jesus

Servants           =      Prophets

Vineyard          =      Nation of Israel/Worship of Yahweh

Tenants             =      Jews

New Tenants   =      Gentiles

The third parable concerns a King and a wedding banquet given in honor of his son. People are invited but they refuse to come. When invited a second time they prefer to earn money and refuse the King again, killing some of his servants. The king expresses rage over the lack of interest and wars against the people, destroying them. This is in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD when Rome went to war against a rebellious Israel and pummeled them. The king then invites anyone on the streets to comeand fill his banquet hall. It is a joyous occasion but one man is tossed out because he was not dressed properly. In this parable:

King                                    =      God the Father

Son                                      =      Jesus

Servants                            =      Prophets

First invited guests      =      Jews

Other guests                    =      Gentiles

Man w/o clothes            =      Anyone who thinks they can get into heaven w/o Jesus.

Many are invited but few accept.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Obedience to the Father is required for membership in the Kingdom of God. Members work. Members are productive. Members bear fruit.

2. Kingdom workers are to be moral, just, righteous, honest, loving, and responsible. Murders and thieves have no place in His Kingdom. Kingdom workers love others as much as they love themselves.

3. God is merciful and full of grace. The old tenants will be tossed out and lose their influence with others. If they do not respond positively, they will be crushed when Christ returns.

4. Man’s actions will condemn himself. Justice will come and fairness will be easy.

5. We can not attend the wedding banquet of Christ without the proper clothes which is His white robe of righteousness we receive through faith in Christ Jesus.

6. One can not get into heaven and stay without accepting God’s invitation through faith in Christ. Those who think they qualify are quickly noticed and immediately receive the King’s justice.

7. Seek God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Accept His invitation and be welcomed as a worker, a tenant, and as a special guest, The Bride.

8. Obey, honor, and dress appropriately as a member of His Kingdom.

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