Lesson Four – Jews and Gentiles United in God’s Kingdom

Jews and Gentiles United in God’s Kingdom

Lesson Aim:  To show that God’s eternal purpose of developing sons in His kingdom is being fulfilled from sinners of all races.

Scriptures:  Luke 14:15-24; Matt. 22:1-14; Acts 13:44-49; Rom. 15:7-12; Eph. 2:11-18.

Historical analysis for reading the parable in Luke 14:15-24.

Place:  In or near Jerusalem, Luke 13:22.

Occasion:  In the house of a prominent Pharisee on a Sabbath, Luke 14:1.

Time:  Probably during the last half of Jesus’ ministry.

Audience:  Wealthy Pharisees and experts in the law, Luke 14:3.

Aim:  To draw a comparison between the actual guest list of those who feast in the kingdom of God and the guest roster of Jesus’ host and his friends.  The comparison should also be made with the roster list of devout religious people today.

Hook:  The person who made the observation that it would be a blessed individual who would “eat at the feast of the kingdom of God” afforded Jesus the opportunity to challenge those present with this parable.  The guest’s statement may have been motivated by the instructions Jesus had just given in Luke 14:12-14.  Whatever his motives were we will leave to Jesus, but in any case he had caught the spirit of the kingdom of God. God, as Father, impartially invites all people to feast at His table.  It is a mutual win/win benefit.  The main “hook” may be in Jesus’ last statement, “I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will taste of my banquet.” v 24.  The rich and famous may be too busy for a spiritual feast.  Jesus may have been understood by the host and his guest to be saying, “He did not expect that any of them would be at His banquet in His kingdom.”  It is not that they would not be invited, all are, but they would have other things to do.  It would be their choice.  In the parable, the third round of invitations would have been a shock to the host and his guests if Jesus had us Gentiles in mind.

Historical analysis for reading the parable in Matt. 22:1-14.

Place:  Temple in Jerusalem, Matt. 21:23.

Occasion:  Jewish Passover, Matt. 26:17.

Time:  During the last week before Jesus was crucified, Matt. 20: 17-19.

Audience:  The specific audience was the chief priests and elders, Matt. 21:23

Aim:  To show that after the kingdom had been taken from the Jewish leaders and invitations went out to all, the guests would have been born again and living by faith.  They would all be saints.

Hook:  This parable follows closely with the parables Jesus gave to the same Jewish leaders in Chapter 21.  See Lesson One. The parable of the Wicked Husbandman, historically, included the many years Israel had been unproductive for God.  This parable may be confined, historically, to the time Jesus was on earth and the first years of His rule as king.  The kingdom would be taken from the Jews.  An army would destroy Jerusalem, the seat of the Jewish nation.  The gospel would be preached to all, the good and the bad; however, in this new scenario, only the righteous would enjoy the spiritual feast.  Each individual would be responsible for himself.

The hook may be found in Jesus’ declaration that Gehenna awaits all who are not dressed (justified, Rom. 5:18) to eat (fellowship) with the Lord.  v. 13.  It is a spiritual feast, just being present will not be enough.


Part One of our study of the parables of Jesus is about God’s kingdom with Jesus as king and physical Israel.  In Lesson One we saw how God separated Israel from the Gentiles (Greek – ethnic).  He created this division between the Jew and Gentile when He said to Abraham, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.”  Gen. 12:1-3.  The division remained until Jesus became king over God’s kingdom.  Even after He took his seat as king, Gentiles in general did not enjoy the privilege of being transferred into His kingdom.  It finally happened when God sent the Apostle Peter to preach to Cornelius and his household in Acts chapter ten.

Returning to the parable of the wicked husbandman in Lesson Two, we learned how Jesus is king over God’s kingdom and how He will lead the church to give God the fruit He wants from His creation of this world.  You would have thought the Jewish people would have rallied to God’s Son as their king.  They did not.  They did just as the parable suggested, they killed Jesus Christ, the son of God.

In Lesson Three, we learned how John the Baptist was appointed by God to prepare the Jewish nation for Jesus Christ and the quality of life in His kingdom.  Jesus’ epigram and parable helped us understand the Jew’s attitude toward the message of God’s kingdom.

In this lesson we will study Jesus’ parables about “The Marriage of the King’s Son” and “The Great Supper.”  The principles we will learn should establish the aim of this lesson.  Remember, this is not a commentary on the parables themselves.  Our aim is to use some facts and principles from the parables as they apply to our subject.  At the same time we want to be careful to read these parables, as we do all Scriptures, in the context they were presented by Jesus.  We want to first understand what Jesus said to His original audience before we ask what He is saying to us.


For two thousand years God had worked with the Israelite people to bring His sonship program to its fruition.  The children of Israel are identified as God’s children.  See Exodus 4:22, 23; Deuteronomy 32:5, 6; Hosea 11:1.  However, because of their nature, they were dealt with more like servants than sons.  They were not ready for the blessings we have today to help us develop as children of God.  Read Gal. 4:1-6 and Heb. 3:1-6.

The Gentiles had rejected God at the time Abraham lived.  See Romans 1:18-23.  They suppressed the truth about God.  They lost the concept about how they were created in two parts, body and spirit (Matt. 10:28; II Cor. 4:16).  They were unable to view themselves as an inner/outer man.  The singular view concept led them to create and worship gods like their outer man.  If they had recognized God who relates to the likeness of their inner being they would have followed Jehovah God (James 3:9).  Their relationship to God at that time was summed up in the following Scripture.

Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  Eph. 2:12

All mankind was created in the image of God and for no other purpose than to be His children (Heb. 12:5).  After God blessed Abraham with His separation strategy the mass of the people on earth were identified as Gentiles (ethnics in relation to Israel) in the Bible.  They were not covenant keepers with Jehovah.  This became a great mystery, even in heaven, as to what God would do with the Gentiles.  The solution to that mystery is now made known.  Read Ephesians 3:1-12.

In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.  Eph. 3:10

The Gentile people were accepted into God’s kingdom when Jesus became king, but not at first.  By reading through the book of Acts, we see there was a period in which only the Jews were evangelized.  Finally, Cornelius, the first true Gentile, was accepted into God’s kingdom in Acts 10.  Jesus’ parable in Matthew 22:1-14 parallels His preaching while He was on earth as well as His evangelism program in Acts of the Apostles.  The destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army in AD 70 would fit neatly in verse seven if those who refused the king’s invitation were the Jews of Jerusalem who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Now let us join Jesus as He is dining in the house of a leader of the Pharisees.  See Luke 14:15-24.  While dining Jesus suggested that a dinner guest list should include people who could not reciprocate in kind.  However, the blessing for this kind of host would be at the resurrection of the righteous.  This brought the following profound declaration from one guest: “Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”   Luke 14:15.

Jesus took this opportunity to let it be known that Jewish people, with certain personal interests, would not be citizens of God’s kingdom.  He also implied that the Gentiles would indeed “eat bread in the kingdom of God.”  The “certain interest” that would keep most of the Jews out of the kingdom is still keeping many people out today.  Those interests were centered on physical things of this world.

According to both parables, when those who were first invited did not accept the invitation other people got the call.  The parable in Luke may not have gone as far as inviting Gentiles.  Jesus may have been referring to Jews less sophisticated than His host’s guests.   However, the parables in Matthew chapters 21 and 22 surely include every person from every nation.  In the book of Acts, we see this sequence of evangelism being carried out even after Cornelius’ family was offered a place in Christ’s kingdom.  Some Jews were not happy about God’s plan for everybody to be His children (Acts 13:45, 46).

Many Gentiles realized they were sinners and gladly received the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ.  Most of the Jews would not accept the roll of a sinner; consequently, they rejected God’s grace.  Each individual chooses evil at mental maturity and becomes a sinner.  God’s sonship program calls for righteousness but the Scriptures declare “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Rom. 3:23).  Therefore, “God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.”  (Rom. 11:32).

God is now calling sinners from all nations to be His sons and daughters.  The first thing a person must recognize is that he or she is a sinner and the blood of Jesus can remove their sin, even from their conscience (Heb. 9:13, 14).  However, since it is a sonship program, choice has always been an option for mankind even after we became sinners.  Many people have wondered why God gave Adam and Eve a right to choose if He knew they would sin.  God’s sonship program demands the freedom of choice.

The Scriptures portray Jesus as the answer for the promise made to the Jews through their fathers.  The Gentiles had no faithful fathers through whom they could receive promises; however, God’s mercy was still given through Jesus for them (Rom. 15:8-12).  God’s decision to accept the Gentiles was not a hasty decision made out of anger because the Jews rejected Jesus, as the parable of our text might suggest.  The Roman text points out several Old Testament Scriptures suggesting that God’s plan for the Gentiles was closely interwoven with the future of Israel.

And again Isaiah says, “There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.  Rom. 15:12

The kingdom of Jesus Christ is God’s last move to fulfill His purpose in creation.  Developing as a son of God with Jesus as our role model is the only program.  If we want to be a part of God’s eternal household, we must accept Jesus as our king; that is, our sovereign ruler of our life.  We must enter God’s kingdom by the new birth whether we be Jew or Gentile.

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.
Eph. 2:14

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow-citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.  Eph. 2:19

The mystery about the mass of Gentile people and their rejection by God in Abraham’s time has now been solved for those who let Jesus reign in our lives.  It is “Christ in you the hope of glory.”  (Col. 1:27).  This is also the answer for the problems of the Jews.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Who created the division between the Jew and the Gentile?  Why?
  2. What is God’s program to make the two groups into one?
  3. What was different about the Jews’ relationship to God as His children and Christians’ relationship?
  4. How did the Gentiles come to worship other gods?
  5. How is the mystery surrounding the Gentiles revealed?
  6. How does the first ten chapters of Acts relate to the parables in our text?
  7. What prompted Jesus to give the parable about the great supper recorded by Luke?
  8. List some things that interested the Jews more than the kingdom of God.
  9. What did many Gentiles realize about themselves that most Jews did not personally accept?
  10. From which nations does God call His sons today?
  11. Explain how Romans 15:8-12 relates to this lesson.
  12. When did God make His decision to call the Gentiles as His children?

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