Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Book of Matthew. In 21:43-44 Jesus said to the Jews: “Did you ever read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?” Therefore I say to you, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” This verse was taken from Psalm 118:22-23 and was used in the early church as a prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection. The last sentence refers to believing Jews and Gentiles, the church of Jesus. In 22:2-14 Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven might be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” He told a servant to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they all had something better to do. The king was enraged and told his servant to go and invite anyone who was loitering in the streets. His table was filled with people in wedding clothes, except for one, whom the king sent out into outer darkness. The king is obviously the Universal Father, his Son is Jesus and the guests who refused to attend the feast are the Jews who rejected Jesus. This parable is from Q; Matthew has given it allegorical traits like the burning of the city of those who refused the invitation. This corresponds to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. This parable is not only a statement of God’s judgment on Israel, but a warning to Matthew’s church. Verse 2 is probably an OT portrayal of final salvation under the image of a banquet. Sending servants out means sending out Christian missionaries………………… In 23:12-13 Jesus says: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, you lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” The CSB says that the authority of the Jewish officials is practiced in such a way as to be an obstacle in entering the kingdom of heaven. Jesus wants to change this………….. The NT follows the OT very closely in some ways. We’ve already seen how the NT mimics the OT. There is a correspondence between King Solomon and Jesus. King Solomon was anointed at a sacred spring called Gihon. The high priest Zadok presided at this anointing. Then King Solomon was charged with keeping the Law of Moses before beginning his reign (1 Kings 1-2). Also Jesus is anointed in the sacred water of the Jordan by John the Baptist, who had legitimate priestly status from his father Zechariah. Then when he went into the desert, where he keeps the Law of Moses against the devil, and returns to begin his reign with the cry, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”………………………………………… Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness according to “New Testament Basics for Catholics,” by William Stob. According to Matthew, the devil told Jesus to break his fast by turning stones into bread. The devil next took Jesus to the parapet of the temple and challenged him to jump off and angels will catch you. Last, the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said Jesus could have them if only he would worship him. These three basic temptations are called the ‘threefold concupiscence’ and St. John summarized them as the “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”(1 John 2:16). They are the triple-headed monster of temptation which had begun in the Garden of Eden, when Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and would make one as wise as God: an ego trip. Jesus is undoing our first parents’ threefold surrender to sin (Stob).

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