Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. (Mt 21,43)
This parable needs no explanation. It is very obvious that it speaks about God the Father, the people of Israel, leaders and prophets of Israel and Jesus the son. It is a straight run story until verse 41 of Matthew chapter 21.
After this, Jesus speaks about himself and the kingdom.
Kingdom will be taken away and given to others who will produce fruit. So the kingdom was among the people of Israel and it was within them. It is taken away from them because it has not produced fruit. Could we say that the kingdom will be with those who produce fruit? Fruit is the sign of the presence of the kingdom.
Jesus becomes the corner stone because he is the rejected stone. Again he is rejected by the people of Israel. This implies that Jesus came to the Israelites and they have rejected him.
There is a sort of parallel between Jesus and the kingdom. Jesus came to the people of Israel and the kingdom was within the people of Israel. Jesus is rejected and the kingdom is taken away from them.
So Jesus is the kingdom. Where Jesus is there the kingdom is.
Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"
An interesting parable. The morality of the individuals are not discussed here or used as criterion for reward. Just the external life style is used as a yard stick for granting rewards.
· "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
But this is not the aim of the parable. The parable is about sending someone from above to teach lessons about the future of life.
Granting reward is the work of the Father and does is as he plans it. We cannot know the future and the future will not be revealed to us. Future is to be lived and experienced. And the future is to be with the Father.
Future is in no way a lesson (no lesson will be given from a person of the future) for the present life. But the present life will lead us to the future. In stead the lessons for the present life are with us and within us. Moses and prophets are in the world.
Jesus is asking us to look into today’s world for lessons.