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encouragement theology

The Rejected Capstone

Thoughts from Matthew 21…

There is an ancient story about building the first Jewish temple. King Solomon started work on the temple at about 1,000 BC and took nearly seven years to complete. The building stones were cut at the quarry, and then sent to the temple site for construction. The story tells that the builders discovered one of the early stones with no markings and an unusual shape. Unsure what to do with this unusual stone, they set it aside and forgot about it. Years later, the temple was almost finished, except that the builders could not find the capstone, which would hold together the final corner of the building. They sent to the quarry for this final stone, only to receive back word that it had been delivered long ago. No one could find it! Finally, after much searching, they located this critical stone, buried underneath the bushes and rubble nearby. It had been set aside and forgotten, yet it was the final piece of the construction.

The facts of this story may have been distorted over the years, but it had become an illustration to the ancient Israelites about forgetting what is most important. This lesson even made it into Scripture, as part of the Messianic Psalm 118: “the stone which the builders rejected, has become the head of the corner.”a This entire Psalm was a celebration of the Messiah, who was the rejected stone, yet will be their coming king!

Jesus had come to Jerusalem on Sunday, amidst the shouts and praise of the people. He drove the moneychangers from the temple on Monday, and now, on Tuesday, the city leaders finally have the courage to confront Him. How dare He come into town the way He did! How dare He drive away their merchants from the temple! Who does He think He is?

And so they came to Jesus, demanding to see His credentials. What authority does he have to teach the people, to drive out to merchants, and to accept their praise! The reply from Jesus Christ was stunning and abrupt. Was John the Baptist’s ministry from heaven or from earth? These men were now in a dilemma: they didn’t believe John, yet they were afraid of the crowds if they publicly denounced him. They didn’t dare own up to their own unbelief, yet they feared a riot if they said anything. Yet that is the point from The Lord. The same authority that enabled John to teach and to baptize is the same authority that led Jesus to Jerusalem. This is the authority that drove out the money changers and taught the people.

The leading priests and elders of the city were left with nothing else to say but, “We don’t know!”

But what about these priests and religious leaders? Jesus then used a parable to reveal their true hearts. Two sons were asked by their father to work in the field. One made a show of refusal but then worked for his father, while the other made a show of acceptance but then refused to work. Which one was the obedient son? The obvious answer was that the obedient son was the one who worked, despite his initial refusal. He was the one who ultimately did what his father asked. 

But these priests and religious leaders were like the disobedient son who, though he made a show of listening to his father, refused to obey. Therefore, the prostitutes, tax collectors, and other dregs of society would be better off than them because they repented at John’s teaching while these religious men refused.

They were like the evil farmers, who thought they could steal the vineyard by killing the master’s servants and his only son. Therefore, they would be killed and excluded from His kingdom because they rejected His prophets and chose to kill the Messiah, God‘s only son!

They were like the invited guests to the wedding feast who refused the king’s summons. Some replied with apathy while others replied with hostility. Even worse, some answered the call but only on their own terms. As a result they will meet judgment and death, and their city will be destroyed.

What can we learn from this passage? First, it reminds us of God‘s sovereignty. He is in charge, even when everything looks like it is against Him. Even when all of the world leaders seem to be moving against Him, He is still in control, waiting for His time. The Jewish leaders had not yet killed the Son of God, yet He knew that it would happen. But He also knew that He would ultimately emerge triumphant!

Secondly, it reminds us of God’s patience. God calls us repeatedly, urging us to come to him. Just because we don’t see a visible response or hear audible words, it does not mean that He has forgotten. God is only waiting His time for His ultimate response. 

If you are disobeying God, don’t mistake His silence for ignoring you. God is waiting his time, giving you one more opportunity to repent and come to him. But judgment is coming for those who will not repent! I urge you to turn to him before it is too late!

If you follow God, remember that it is on His terms, not yours. Like the wedding guest who refused to take up the king’s clothing, judgment awaits those who think they can force their way into God’s presence.

But finally, when you are obeying God and it seems like He is silent, don’t give up! God may be waiting for His timing but He is always watching and will never forget. He will come back to judge those who have refused Him and to save those who are truly His own. Don’t give up!

Previous study: The Barren Tree


Scripture

Matthew 21:23 – 22:14
And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

“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.

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Mark 11:27 – 12:12
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

Luke 20:1-19
One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.


The Challenge by the Priests

Matthew 21:23-27
And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Mark 11:27-33
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Luke 20:1-8
One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

It was Tuesday morning, and as Jesus entered the temple and began teaching, He was confronted by the leaders of the Jews.b Jesus had already thrown out the merchants and money changers from the temple the previous day, but He didn’t simply leave and then allow things to return to the status quo. Instead, He took over the temple, refused further businesses to venture through the temple grounds, and returned the next day!

But what authority did He have to do these things? Jesus was teaching in the temple that morning, but their demand for authority seems to cover all of the previous days’ events. What authority did this man have to overturn their business in the temple and to throw them out?

But they had to be careful with how they responded to Jesus. They hated and wanted to discredit Him, but they feared His popularity. Any direct attack would cause a riot among the people. And so, they proceeded to try to trip Him up. The first attempt was to demand that He explain His authority. What gave Him the right to take over the temple, drive out the merchants, and teach like He did?

Part of their objective was to try and get Jesus to publicly announce Himself as a King. If they could get Him to declare His Kingly authority, they then could bring the Roman soldiers against Him, accusing Him of leading an insurrection. But if He denied His claim as King, then they could expose Him as a fraud, and separate Him from His followers.

But Jesus turned the question back to them. His authority was from the same source as what directed John the Baptist. When John baptized people in the Jordan River, was He sent from God or from His own ambition? 

The priests were stuck! Although they had given John lip service, they never believed his message. If they admitted to their unbelief, they would be in trouble with the people who knew that John was a prophet. But if they confessed that he was God, then they were admitting their guilt of unbelief. What could they do?

As wise and smart as these Jewish leaders were, they were left with no other choice but to return to Jesus, saying, “We don’t know.” But this was more than simply winning an argument to Jesus. He had given them their answer regarding His authority. He was given His authority from the same One who had directed John the Baptist. Just as John had preached from God to an unbelieving people, so Jesus had come to those same unbelievers.

Jesus then followed His response with three parables showing the state of the Jews, and the consequences of their unbelief.

“In taking them back to the ministry of John, Jesus was not trying to avoid the issue. John had prepared the way for Jesus. Had the rulers received John’s ministry, they would have received Jesus.” – Warren Wiersbe6

The Two Sons

Matthew 21:28-32
“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Jesus had used John the Baptist as His example for where He received His authority. He next uses John’s ministry to show that the Jewish leaders were guilty because of their unbelief.

This first parable is a simple story of a father who commanded his two sons to work in the vineyard. The first son verbally refused but then obeyed. The second son verbally agreed but then refused. Which one truly carried out his father’s will? They answered with the first son because, even though he initially refused, he finally obeyed his father. 

This was the direct application to them. Standing before the religious and political leaders of the nation, he directed His point that, “the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you!” They thought they were so holy, but the wicked, filthy refuse of society had repented when they heard John’s teaching. These men who knew their Scripture turned a deaf ear to the prophet. Even when they saw the wicked people repent at John’s teaching, they turned away to their own stubbornness.

However, notice the Lord’s use of the word before. These religious men still have a chance to join in the Kingdom if they repent. Even at this late hour, He is still showing grace to those who despise Him!1

They are guilty because they followed The Lord in word only, and not in action. While the sinners of the world started out wickedly, they repented and followed Him. On the contrary, the religious leaders started out full of piety and religious words, but they refused to believe Him. 

The Tenants

Matthew 21:33-46
“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.

Mark 12:1-12
And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

Luke 20:9-19
And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.

This second parable, the parable of the tenants, is also directed at the chief priests and elders, and shows their level of judgment. It is no abstract concept, but rather they are ready for the judgments of death and destruction that come from rejecting Him. Note also that this judgement extends beyond the current priests and elders at that time, and includes the entire Jewish nation. They have violently rejected the Lord’s messengers throughout history, and now they are about to kill His only Son!c

According to Jewish law at the time, a landowner needed to regularly receive produce from his fields in order to retain legal rights to the property. This would explain the attitude of the tenants, and why they believed that they would be able to keep the vineyard for themselves if they refused the master’s messengers. Likewise, they would have a stronger claim on the property if they were able to get rid of the heir.7

Jesus predicted His death here, but that is not the final end. The reference to the rejected stone has two parts: 

  • The stone that the builders rejected” is a direct quote from Psalm 118:22-23. This Psalm celebrates the coming Messiah and was quoted by the excited crowd as He rode into Jerusalem on Sunday (Psalm 118:25-26). Jesus condemned the Jewish leaders here for rejecting the Messiah, God’s Son!
  • The stone will crush anyone who it falls upon. This is a reference to the prophecy of Daniel 2, where the stone made without hands strikes and destroys the great image. The Messiah’s kingdom will rule the earth!

Finally, we see the angry reaction from the priests and Pharisees, who realized that He is speaking about them! But because of His popularity, they are powerless to stop him.

“It is a sad commentary on fallen human nature that when God Himself came unto His own creation in the Person of the Incarnate Son, men, instead of being melted by His grace, were hardened by His goodness, and were never satisfied until they saw Him nailed to a felon’s cross.” – H.A. Ironside5

The Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:1-14
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

This is the final parable of judgment toward both the immediate priests and to the Jewish nation as a whole. The king prepared a wedding feast for his son, but the invited guests would not come. Their responses range from apathy to violence and murder. 

As a result, the murderers were killed and their city was destroyed.d But the message of judgment in this parable is twofold: the first part is that the kingdom is barred from those who have rejected him, and it will be open for those who were not originally “worthy”. Because the Jewish people rejected him, he is offering the kingdom to others.e

The second part of the message is regarding the man with no wedding garment. It was a custom in those times for a king to provide garments for his invited guests.3 Therefore, the presence of the man without a garment shows his refusal to accept the king’s gift. If you do not come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, you are destined for the punishment of Hell! You must come to God on His terms, not ours!

“How many are chosen? Those who respond to the call, those who accept the gift of righteousness, those who trust Christ.” – H.A. Ironside3

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


References

[1] Stanley D. Toussaint, Behold The King, Kregel Publications, 1980, Matthew 21:23-22:14, pages 246-256

[2] H.A. Ironside, Ironside Expository Commentaries, Matthew 21, The King in Jerusalem

[3] H.A. Ironside, Ironside Expository Commentaries, Matthew 22, The King and His Opponents

[4] H.A. Ironside, Ironside Expository Commentaries, Address 53, The Parable of the Great Supper, Luke 14:1-24

[5] H.A. Ironside, Ironside Expository Commentaries, Address 67, The Parable of the Vineyard, Luke 20:1-18

[6] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, David C. Cook, 2007, Matthew 21:23-22:14, pages 63-65

[7] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, David C. Cook, 2007, Mark 11:27-12:12, pages 122-123

[8] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, David C. Cook, 2007, Luke 14:15-24, pages 185-186

[9] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, David C. Cook, 2007, Luke 20:1-19, pages 205-207

[10] Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book V, CHAPTER III: THE THIRD DAY IN PASSION-WEEK, THE EVENTS OF THAT DAY, THE QUESTION OF CHRIST’S AUTHORITY, THE QUESTION OF TRIBUTE TO CAESAR, THE WIDOW’S FARTHING, THE GREEKS WHO SOUGHT TO SEE JESUS, SUMMARY AND RETROSPECT OF THE PUBLIC MINISTRY OF CHRIST (St. Matthew 21:23-27; St. Mark 11:27-33; St. Luke 20:1-8; St. Matt. 22:15-22; St. Mark 12:13-17; St. Luke 20:20-26; St. Matt. 22:41-46; St. Luke 21:1-4; St. John 12:20-50.), https://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/lifetimes.x.iii.html

[11] Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book V, CHAPTER IV: THE THIRD DAY IN PASSION-WEEK – THE LAST CONTROVERSIES AND DISCOURSES – THE SADDUCEES AND THE RESURRECTION – THE SCRIBE AND THE GREAT COMMANDMENT – QUESTION TO THE PHARISEES ABOUT DAVID’S SON AND LORD – FINAL WARNING TO THE PEOPLE: THE EIGHT ‘WOES’ – FAREWELL.(St. Matt. 22:23-33; St. Mark 12:18-27; St. Luke 20:27-39; St. Matt. 22:34-40; St. Mark 12:28-34; St. Matt. 22:41-46; St. Mark 12:35-40; St. Luke 20:40-47; St. Matt. 23.), https://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/lifetimes.x.iv.html

[12] Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book V, CHAPTER V: THE THIRD DAY IN PASSION-WEEK, THE LAST SERIES OF PARABLES: TO THE PHARISEES AND TO THE PEOPLE, ON THE WAY TO JERUSALEM: THE PARABLE OF THE LABOURERS IN THE VINEYARD, IN THE TEMPLE: THE PARABLE OF THE ‘NO’ AND ‘YES’ OF THE TWO SONS, THE PARABLE OF THE EVIL HUSBANDMEN EVILLY DESTROYED, THE PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING’S SON AND THE WEDDING GARMENT (St. Matt. 19:30, 20: 16; St. Matt. 21:28-32; St. Mark 12:1-12; St. Luke 20:9-19; St. Matt. 22:1-14.), https://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/lifetimes.x.v.html

[13] Doug Bookman, Life of Christ, Audio Series, Lecture 11, https://www.christianity.com/jesus/life-of-jesus/harmony-of-the-gospels/31-jesus-silences-his-enemies-and-the-olivet-discourse.html 

[14] Stephen Davey, The Moral of the Story is . . ., Matthew 21:28-22:14, 9/8/1991

[15] John MacArthur, The Authority of Jesus, Matthew 21:23-32, Dec 11, 1983

[16] John MacArthur, Judgment on Christ’s Rejectors, Matthew 21:33-46, Dec 18, 1983

[17] John MacArthur, Responding to a Royal Invitation, Matthew 22:1-14, Jan 8, 1984

[18] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson, 2005, Matthew 21:23-22:14, pages 1164-1166

[19] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson, 2005, Mark 11:27-12:12, pages 1239-1240

[20] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson, 2005, Luke 14:15-24, pages 1307-1308

[21] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson, 2005, Luke 20:1-19, pages 1321-1322

[22] D.A. Carson, Editor, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Zondervan, 2010, Matthew 21:23-22:14


Notes

[a] The word translated “cornerstone” (ESV) in Matthew 21:42 is literally “the head of the corner”. If this is a reference to the story of building the temple, the head of the corner is more likely to have been the capstone that finalized the building, and not the cornerstone. The cornerstone was the first stone to be laid down by the builders, so it would not have been lost during the building process.

[b] The chief priests and elders here were the leaders of the temple and members of the Sanhedrin. Although they were also religious men, the focus here is on their political authority in Jerusalem.22

[c] What does the vineyard represent in this parable? It is difficult to interpret this vineyard as the nation of Israel, since it is taken away from the religious leaders and given to another people. The best explanation is that the vineyard represents the Kingdom of God. The “other people” is the believing church after the resurrection.1

[d] Most commentators agree that the burned city in Matthew 22:7 is a prophetic reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.1 17

[e] Matthew 22:1-14 contains the parable of the wedding feast, including the judgment on those who refused to answer the invitation. Luke 14:12-24 contains a similar parable about a man giving a great banquet, where the invited guests would not come. Although Luke’s account is very similar to the parable here in Matthew, it is best to treat them as two separate parables, given at two separate times, with two separate points. The parable in Luke’s account is given earlier in Jesus Christ’s ministry, to the Pharisee who had invited Him to dinner, showing that all who will accept His invitation may come. The message for Luke’s parable is the open invitation. Matthew’s parable, by contrast, shows more open hostility by the guests, leading to judgement.6 18

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