Matthew 21:43
Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
21:33-46 This parable plainly sets forth the sin and ruin of the Jewish nation; and what is spoken to convict them, is spoken to caution all that enjoy the privileges of the outward church. As men treat God's people, they would treat Christ himself, if he were with them. How can we, if faithful to his cause, expect a favourable reception from a wicked world, or from ungodly professors of Christianity! And let us ask ourselves, whether we who have the vineyard and all its advantages, render fruits in due season, as a people, as a family, or as separate persons. Our Saviour, in his question, declares that the Lord of the vineyard will come, and when he comes he will surely destroy the wicked. The chief priests and the elders were the builders, and they would not admit his doctrine or laws; they threw him aside as a despised stone. But he who was rejected by the Jews, was embraced by the Gentiles. Christ knows who will bring forth gospel fruits in the use of gospel means. The unbelief of sinners will be their ruin. But God has many ways of restraining the remainders of wrath, as he has of making that which breaks out redound to his praise. May Christ become more and more precious to our souls, as the firm Foundation and Cornerstone of his church. May we be willing to follow him, though despised and hated for his sake.The kingdom of God ... - Jesus applies the parable to them - the Jews.

They had been the children of the kingdom, or under the reign of God; having his law and acknowledging him as King. They had been his chosen and special people, but he says that now this privilege would be taken away; that they would cease to be the special people of God, and that the blessing would be given to a nation who would bring forth the fruits thereof, or "be righteous" that is, to the Gentiles, Acts 28:28.

43. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God—God's visible Kingdom, or Church, upon earth, which up to this time stood in the seed of Abraham.

shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof—that is, the great evangelical community of the faithful, which, after the extrusion of the Jewish nation, would consist chiefly of Gentiles, until "all Israel should be saved" (Ro 11:25, 26). This vastly important statement is given by Matthew only.

See Poole on "Matthew 21:44". Therefore I say unto you,.... This is the application of the parable; and the words are directed to the chief priests, elders, scribes, and people of the Jews; and are delivered as what would be in consequence of the builders, rejecting the Messiah, the foundation and corner stone of the building,

The kingdom of God shall be taken from you: by which is meant, not their political estate, their civil government, which was of God, and in a short time was to depart from them, according to ancient prophecy, and which is come to pass, as the event shows; nor their legal national church state and ordinances only, or the priesthood, and the appendages of it; all which, in a little while, were shaken and removed; but the Gospel, which had been preached among them by John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles; so called because it treats of the kingdom of God, and things pertaining to it, and shows men both their right and meetness for it; the one as in the righteousness of Christ, and the other in the regenerating and sanctifying grace of the Spirit, which Gospel may be taken away from a people, as from the Jews, because of their contempt of it, and opposition to it, or lukewarmness and indifference about it, or unfruitfulness under it; and when God has no more souls to gather in by it in such a place, and which is a very unhappy case, whenever it is the case of any people: for when the Gospel is taken away, the riches of a people are gone; the glory of a nation is departed; the light of it is put out; the spiritual bread of a people is no more; the means of conversion and spiritual knowledge cease: all which have a melancholy aspect on posterity. Moreover, the Gospel church state, which was set up in Judea, may be here meant; which, though it continued and flourished a while, in process of time was to be removed: and which may be done elsewhere, as it has been in Judea, by God's suffering persecution to arise, as he did against the church of Jerusalem, whereby the ministers of the Gospel are driven into corners, or scattered abroad; or by ordering his ministers to preach no more unto such a people, as the apostles were ordered to turn from the Jews to the Gentiles; or by taking away ministers and members of churches by death, and not raising up others in their room; or by withholding a blessing from the word; or by permitting the growth of errors and heresies, which, in course of time, must issue in the dissolution of the church state in such a place, and which necessarily follows upon the removing of the Gospel:

and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Though God may take away the Gospel from a people, as he did from the Jews; yet he does not, nor will he, as yet, take it out of the world: he gives it to another "nation"; to the Gentiles, to all the nations of the world, whither he sent his apostles to preach and where it must be preached before the end of the world comes, in order to gather his elect out of them: for not one particular nation is meant, unless the nation of God's elect, among all nations, can be thought to be designed. It may be observed, that the Gospel, wherever it comes, it comes as a gift; it is "given": to have it only in the external ministration of it, is a favour; and more especially to understand it spiritually; this is an unmerited gift; as is also ability to preach it: and it is likewise a national mercy wherever it comes; for though it comes in power only to a few in a nation, yet it is more or less a blessing to the whole: nor is it easy to say what temporal advantages a nation enjoys through the ministration of the Gospel in it: and where it is given, and comes in power, it brings forth fruit, as it did in all the world of the Gentiles; even the fruits of grace, and righteousness, and every good work; all which come from Christ, under the influence of his Spirit, and by the word and ordinances, as means, and highly become the Gospel, and the professors of it; and for want of which it is removed sometimes from one nation to another: for this cause it was taken from the Jews, and given to the Gentiles. One of the Jewish commentators (d) on these words, in Jeremiah 13:17 "my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride", has this note,

"because of your grandeur, which shall cease; because of the excellency of "the kingdom of heaven", , "which shall be given to the profane";

i.e. the nations of the world,

(d) Jarchi in Jeremiah 13.17.

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the {a} fruits thereof.

(a) They bring forth the fruits of the kingdom of God, who bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, and not of the flesh, Ga 5:16-26.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 21:43. Διὰ τοῦτο] therefore, because, according to the psalm just quoted, the rejected stone is destined to become the corner-stone. What is contained in the following announcement is the necessary consequence of the inversion of the order of things just referred to. The λέγω ὑμῖν, however, like the ἀφʼ ὑμῶν below, implies the obvious intermediate thought: “for it is you who reject this corner-stone.”

ἀρθήσεται ἀφʼ ὑμῶν] for they, along with the whole Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα represented by them, were by natural right the owners of the approaching Messianic kingdom, its theocratic heirs; comp. Matthew 13:38.

ἔθνει ποιοῦντι, κ.τ.λ.] Jesus is not here referring to the Gentiles, as, since Eusebius’ time, many, and in particular Schenkel, Hilgenfeld, Keim, Volkmar, have supposed, but, as the use of the singular already plainly indicates, to the whole of the future subjects of the kingdom of the Messiah, conceived of as one people, which will therefore consist of Jews and Gentiles, that new Messianic people of God, which is to constitute the body politic in the kingdom that is about to be established, 1 Peter 2:9. The fruits of the Messiah’s kingdom are those fruits which must be produced as the condition of admission (Matthew 5:3 ff., Matthew 13:8). Hence, likewise, the use of the present ποιοῦντι; for Jesus regards the future subjects of the kingdom as already anticipating its establishment by producing its fruits. The metaphor is to be regarded as an echo of the parable of the vineyard. The fruits themselves are identical with those mentioned in Ephesians 5:9; Galatians 5:22; Romans 6:22.Matthew 21:43. διὰ τοῦτο, introducing the application of the oracle, and implying that the persons addressed are the builders = therefore.—ἡ βασιλεία τ. θ.: the doom is forfeiture of privilege, the kingdom taken from them and given to others.—ἔθνει, to a nation; previously, as Paul calls it, a no nation (οὐκ ἔθνει, Romans 10:19), the reference being, plainly, to the heathen world.—ποιοῦντι τ. κ. α.: cf. Matthew 3:8; Matthew 3:10; Matthew 7:17, bringing forth the fruits of it (the kingdom). The hope that the new nation will bring forth the fruit is the ground of the transference. God elects with a view to usefulness; a useless elect people has no prescriptive rights.Matthew 21:43. Αὐτῆς, thereof) sc. the kingdom.[949]

[949] Even though thou mayest be a good tree, yet thy fruit is not thine own, but that of the vineyard. Romans 11:17—V. g.Verse 43. - Therefore I say unto you. Having denounced the sin, Christ now enunciates the punishment thereof, in continuation of his parable. Because ye slay the Son, reject the Cornerstone, the vineyard, i.e. the kingdom of God, shall be taken from you. Ye shall no longer be God's peculiar people; your special privileges shall be taken away. A nation. The Christian Church, the spiritual Israel, formed chiefly from the Gentile peoples (Acts 15:14; 1 Peter 2:9). The fruits thereof (au)th = ); i.e. of the kingdom of God, such faith, life, good works, as become those thus favoured by Divine grace.
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