Pictures of the Kingdom

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continues our preaching series entitled “Scandalous Jesus,” that parallels our journey of Lent. This week, I turned our attention to three parables of Jesus in Matthew 21:28-22:14:

  • The Father and His Two Sons
  • The Vineyard and the Tenants
  • The Wedding Banquet

Each of these parables echo two major themes:

  • Jesus brings a great reversal in God’s kingdom
  • Jesus reveals the risks of religious apathy and blind reassurance

This message is from the ninth part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” and “Jesus Said What?!

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.

“Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you….I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” (Matthew 21:31, 43)


A group of three enacted parables (21:1-22)

A group of three spoken parables (21:28-22:14)

Two themes:

  • Jesus brings a great reversal in God’s kingdom
  • Jesus reveals the risks of religious apathy and blind reassurance

A Father and Two Sons (21:28-32)

Characters: The Father, Son #1, Son #2 and the Vineyard 

Great reversal: Prostitutes and tax collectors are entering God’s Kingdom ahead of the apparently religious

Risk: Failure to repent and believe risks exclusion.

 Response: Letting our need lead us to Christ.

The Vineyard (21:33-44)

Characters: Landowner, the tenants, two groups of servants, the son of the landowner

Great reversal: The fruitless tenants will be destroyed and the land given to someone else

Risk: Rejecting Jesus and God’s fruit leads to rejection by God

 Response: Opening ourselves fully to Christ.

The Wedding Banquet (22:1-14)

Characters: King, the servants, those invited, those gathered (including the poorly dressed guest)

Great reversal: The invited will be rejected and replaced with unlikely others

Risk: rejecting God’s summons leads to rejection; responding without what’s due is costly

 Response: Hearing God’s summons and responding fully.

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize Matthew 21:42 or 21:43 or 22:9-10
  • Draw, ink, or paint one or more of the parables in this section of Scripture. As you depict these scenes or episodes in your own way, take time to talk with God about what He is speaking to you. 
  • Consider watching the Bible Project video “How to Read the Parables of Jesus” 

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