Our next text is in the middle of a parable, found at Matthew 21:31-45: 43 ?Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.?.
1. The parable is about response to the Son; thus, the parable has a christological focus.
2. The “kingdom” here is something that Israel’s leaders or Israel presently possesses. This reminds me of Matthew 8:5-13 where the “sons of the kingdom” will be kicked out of the kingdom at the End.
3. The kingdom the leaders/Israel presently possesses will be taken from the leaders/Israel and given to others.
4. Who are the others? It could be Gentiles (“a people” is translation for ethnos) or the “collective people” who do the fruit — an image for doing what Jesus teaches. The kingdom will be given to them — there is here an church-focus to the kingdom. Kingdom is here connected to the people of Jesus.
5. V. 44 brings back into view the christological focus again: the stone is Jesus and that stone will be the Final Judge.