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The Murder of God’s Son: A Prophetic Parable, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2021 4:00 am

The Murder of God’s Son: A Prophetic Parable, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 27, 2021 4:00 am

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You had better be careful how you engage yourself with Jesus Christ. Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken on whomever it falls. Scatter him like this. No matter what side he's officially on well you can be sure there are people who claim to be on your side on God's side, but the fact is there enemies of Christ embracing in teaching dangerous doctrine to find out how to spot these enemies of the faith and how you should deal with them in their false teaching. Stay here as John MacArthur continues his study called how to talk to a heretic. Now here's the lesson Luke chapter 20 and verses nine through 16 is the parable very simple story about a man who owned a vineyard and rented it out to some tenant farmers under contract who agreed to pay them a certain amount they could keep the rest and he sent his slaves to collect what was due him by contract, a mistreated the slaves see in an act of good faith and patience send his own son thinking. If they didn't respect slaves they would at least respect is son. They killed the son in an effort to gain complete control of the vineyard everybody listening to the story would've agreed with the conclusion tell them and hire some new farmers simple story.

We went through that story, calling it the illustration. Second point was the explanation and what is the interpretation, what is the explanation, the man who owns the land is God. The vineyard is Israel. The vine growers are the religious leaders belong journey in which he is away is Old Testament history slaves in the story that are said of the Old Testament prophets were sent by God from time to time. Through Israel's history.

Finally, God says I'll send my beloved son, who is none other than Jesus Christ and they kill him. And so Jesus is telling Israel, its history, you have been under their care of certain leaders who were placed by God and responsibility over you that you might produce spiritual fruit, they failed miserably.

And when God came in the way of his profits to demand some spiritual fruits to call for some spiritual fruit you mistreated and maligned and even killed the prophets, and now God has sent his son, and what will the same spiritual leaders do the priests, the chief priests and scribes, Pharisees, the Sadducees, the elders of Israel, they will kill the son, and why because they want the inheritance.

They want control over the people they want to run God's kingdom. If you will their way and what will God do to them to things. One destroy them.

Verse 16 he will come and destroy those vine growers and I told you last time that looks forward 40 years from 30 A.D. when this happened in 70 A.D. when Titus best pass in the Roman general came with his great Roman army destruction did come and for the unbelievers and projectors of Christ it last forever. The second thing is displacement destruction and then this placement give the vineyard into the care of others.

That is, take away the stewardship of Israel's religious leaders over God's people and give that stewardship to others. Others are religious leaders, and the idea of the story is that God removed from the leadership of Israel. The stewardship of his people.

They had been custodians of God's truth. They were the custodians of Scripture. They were the custodians of the covenants of God. They had the responsibility to bring about in Israel. The production of good spiritual fruit. The fruit of righteousness.

But now, our Lord says not only will this generation be destroyed but the custodianship of Israel will pass from the hands of these apostate un-true unfaithful Messiah rejecting leaders to others. What is this mean others will become custodians of the truth of God. Others will become custodians of the people of God who are the others. The new leaders of Israel are none other than the followers of Jesus Christ. They are to become the new custodians of God's kingdom of God's work of redemption among men. It is a shift in leadership. That's what our Lord is talking about, and of all people.

The new leadership are the despised apostles and disciples of Jesus.

Now this shouldn't surprise anybody because this transition has already been happening. I'm going to show it to you briefly. Chapter 9 of Luke. He called the 12 together.

This is relatively early in his ministry gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform the healing verse six they began going about among the villages preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere. They had a power and truth that the leaders of Israel did not have the leaders of Israel were not pathetic.

They were not authorized by God. They were not empowered and they did not know, and they did not proclaim the truth here early in his ministry. Our Lord commissions the 12 gives them power and authority over demons and disease and sends them to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom that is the way of salvation and entrance into God's kingdom. I say the transition has already begun. Chapter 10 of Luke unfolds in it even more extensive way verse one. The Lord appointed 70 others here are 70 no names and 12 very common men. Given this immense responsibility. They are the new stewards of the kingdom, and the truth of God here is this nondescript little collection of week faith men many as seven of and perhaps fishermen, unskilled, untrained, unimportant by the world standard and certainly by Israel's religious measurement and they are the new leaders of God's vineyard. The new vine growers. The new stewards the new custodians of a new people of God, these are the new leaders of his redeemed people.

This, by the grace of God, not by any merit. Then in Ephesians 4 he gave some apostles, some prophets and then came some evangelists and then some pastor teachers and they've all come to take on into the next generation. This responsibility of spiritual leadership. So the work of God in building up the body of Christ through evangelism and edification is given to a new stewardship. It is those who start with the apostles and then the New Testament prophets and then come the evangelist in teaching pastors who build their teaching and their ministry on what was revealed to those early apostles and the associates of the apostles who wrote the New Testament. I today am one in this long line of stewards. I am one of the far removed generation of the others to whom stewardship of God's truth and Scripture and the people of God has been given and so is any faithful minister.

Another way to look at the same transition is in John 14.

As our Lord is giving his last words in the upper room with his disciples on the night of the Passover on Thursday of that week. He says so many marvelous things to them.

One of the things that he says to them, and repeats it is very very important. It has to do with truth. Verse 25 John 14 the things I've spoken to you while abiding with you and he's been saying a lot of things I've spoken to the to you concerning these things while I been with you but this is very important to help her the comfort of the Holy Spirit whom the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said you that's an amazing thing they'd been with Jesus three years he'd said a lot. He'd been speaking every single day for three years, far more than is in the Scripture John says the things he said couldn't be contained in all the books of the world. How are they ever going to be able as stewards of this responsibility to remember the things that he wanted them to remember while he says when I leave the spirit comes when the spirit comes the spirit becomes the one who brings these things to your remembrance so that you can write them down so that you can proclaim them.

Chapter 16 verse 12.

I have many more things to say to you said many has many more to say.

I can't say them now because you can't bear them now more than you can take its overload, but when he, the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth for he will not speak on his own initiative. Whatever he hears he will speak he will disclose to you what is to come.

He'll help you remember the past and he'll also tell you the future and you will have spirit inspired truth and you will record it.

Peter says men moved by the Holy Spirit wrote it down it becomes holy Graw say Scripture. This is the new stewardship. First, the apostles and the associates of the apostles who were involved in the writing in the New Testament than the prophets to proclaim what was spoken by the apostles and would be written and then every generation of faithful evangelists in teaching pastors ever since we carried on this stewardship. They are the new leaders and under their leadership has come a new people of God that are producing fruit that brings honor to God, the true and living church. Our stewardship is pretty simple.

I think preach the word, that would set second Timothy four. Preach the word preach the word in season houses and preach the word. Give yourself the sound doctrine.

Paul says to Titus, take care of two things. He tells Timothy first Timothy 416 yourself and your teaching.

Read the Scripture explained the Scripture apply the Scripture. This is our stewardship in first Timothy six right at the very end of first Timothy verse 20 of chapter 60 Timothy Gard what has been entrusted to you. The para thing K the word that means a bank deposit pulses. I deposited truth with you. I deposit Holy Spirit inspired truth with you Gard that truth avoid all the lies all the deception and guard the truth. That's the end of first Timothy at the beginning, a second Timothy across the page verse 14 chapter 1 guard through the Holy Spirit dwells in us the treasure which is been entrusted to you. What's the treasure's downwards. Verse 13 sound words, which you heard from me.

The apostles got it. Paul got it Timothy got it. Titus got it the next generation and it keeps being passed on in here. It is these are the truths that the spirit of God inspired the apostles and their associates to write down.

And this is the stewardship to which we are called we are tenant farmers we have been hired by God under contract gifted and called to go into this world in a responsibility that has no parallel and no equal, and that is to take care of the vineyard of God in such a way as to produce fruit unto righteousness that brings him glory not to produce sons of hell, but to produce sons of God.

And so the story ends with displacement and that leads to a footnote question is that a permanent displacement of Israel. What's the answer to that. No need is a temporary one and there will be a future time when Israel again will be restored not just to salvation, not just to a kingdom, but to us stewardship of truth. One of the amazing characteristics of the end time is this.

There is coming a time called the tribulation described very clearly in detail in Revelation from chapter 6 to 19 long extended session. In that time called tribulation. God selects 144,000 Jews, 12,000 out of every tribe and he knows what tribe therein. They don't to evangelize the world.

They will be converted, they will become evangelists. You can read about them in Revelation 7 and a Revelation 14 then when you get into the kingdom and Christ is come and set up his kingdom and is raining in Jerusalem and he's set up his throne there to rule the world and Israel receives all of the promises given to Abraham and David and the prophets Abraham a covenant Davidic covenant. New covenant promises once again the Jews will become the stewards of God's truth, they will become stewards of his truth in the tribulation and also than in the kingdom. But for now until that time.

There's a new leadership and we are that new leadership and you are that new people following that new leadership set the end of this account.

No problem. Folks, because the last word in that story was that they killed the son right that can't be the end and it's not go back to chapter 20 they panic when they understand the meaning of the story, they panic at the thought of destruction and displacement and they should but he looked at them and said this. What then is this that is written that little phrase that is written is a reference to the Old Testament that they would clearly understand.

In fact, in Matthew's account of Jesus telling this story. Matthew says don't you know what Scripture teaches, or have you never read the Scripture.

This is a reference to Scripture. Have you forgotten Scripture. This takes us from the illustration to the exclamation to the extension here.

Our Lord extends his teaching the parables ended the end, is tragic for the vine growers. It's tragic for those who follow the vine growers.

It's tragic at this point for the son he's dead, but the death of the son can't be the end of the story so he looks at them and says, in case you're wondering if that's the end of the story do have you forgotten the Scripture." Psalm 118 22 the stone which the builders rejected. This became the chief cornerstone. He takes them from the analogy in the parable that he developed right into the Old Testament. This is not the end of the story. Lest you think it's the end of the story.

Think again.

Have you forgotten Scripture. Scripture says that the stone rejected becomes the chief cornerstone. What is the importance of that very simple because they would understand clearly. They knew the hello very well. They knew someone a team probably most of them knew it by memory.

Certainly the leaders did the chief cornerstone. They may have even given messianic overtones to that because in Daniel chapter 2, the Messiah, who comes to smash the image in Daniel's vision is the stone cut out without hands.

Messiah was known in some circles as the stone. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone to have that works for you to build a building in ancient times to build out great benefits out of stone is one stone that has to be perfect. That's the corner stone and it has to be perfect in every direction. It has to be perfect on the bottom so the building is flat.

It has to be perfect on the sides so the building rises in a perfect perpendicular fashion. It has to be perfect on the top so it doesn't tilt and the angle has to be exact, or the building is gonna wander off out of symmetry. The cornerstone sets every angle for the building builders knew that when they were going to build a building they had to have an absolutely perfect cornerstone.

How many stones are going to build a great edifice would you throw away before you found the perfect one now in the teaching of Jesus.

The illustration has shifted, and the sun is become a stone which the builders rejected, they had said you're not perfect.

We don't accept you as the cornerstone to God's kingdom.

This is a very familiar New Testament quote acts 411, 410 let it be known to all of you Peter's preaching here. Let it be known to all of you to all the people of Israel by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead by this name. The man stands here before you in good health. He's the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very corner stone. He's talking to the rulers, the elders and the scribes and to Annas and Caiaphas and all the leaders and he says you rejected him. You rejected him as the cornerstone and he rejects you, and guess what, the stone which you rejected is back and it's the cornerstone. The sun is the stone and he has return that is resurrection. Dear friends, that is resurrection. The story does not end with a dead son for the stone which the builders rejected to become the chief cornerstone. There has to be a restoration in Jesus case, a resurrection, and he will die on Friday but he will rise on Sunday so the exclamation has an extension to finish the story but that's not the final word final words in verse 18. This is a threat. I guess you could call an application. It's more than that it's a serious threat. The question that is being posed behind the statement of verse 18 is, you had better be careful how you engage yourself with Jesus Christ. Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it falls it will scatter him like dust.

What is that that is a way of saying this collision with the stone will destroy you.

It will destroy you. Our Lord was so straightforward. This is a message of love and warning terrifying. How did the leaders respond look at verse 19 and the scribes and the chief priest try to lay hands on in that very hour they feared the people fully understood that he spoke this parable against the new was talking about them. He was condemning them instead of being convicted instead of being penitent, they heightened their efforts to killing said how tragic this was their last hour about you where do you stand you submit to Christ as Lord and Savior and even or will you collide with him is your crushing judge. This we ask for his glory. That's John MacArthur showing you how Jesus stood up against doctrinal error is current series here on grace to you is titled how to talk to a heretic.

John you talk today about the stewardship that every pastor has and as you said, it basically boils down to preach the word and in recent days.

You've talked about preaching the whole counsel of God, how it's our duty not to gloss over or omit any part of God's word, and so live a question related to that, what would your encouragement be to pastors who may be feeling the pressure to do something else, anything other than preach the word well if you like to preach the word get another job but what what are you where you therefore, that's your only job we only have one book and we are to preach the word.

That's the command we are to be instant in season and out of season. Whatever that means you're either in or out of it so that you preach the word all the time. You should be sitting around trying to decide whether to preach the Bible or something else, but I think a lot of it relates to people's theology. If you think that you are the power that convinces people to be Christians, then you might come up with all kinds of methods and means and strategies and tactics no like go back to Charles Finney near any of those revivalists who were trying to manipulate people emotionally. But if you believe as the Bible says that regeneration is it's his America from heaven, and that God saves by his own sovereign will not apart from the gospel but it's God does the saving through the preaching of his word than what else would you do so, I've been saying this little more recently you hear preacher say the Bible says this. The Bible says that don't say that.

Don't say the Bible says something show them let the Bible speak.

That's what exposition does when you go down into a passage and you dig into that passage. It is God speaking through his word so that my prayer every time I get into a pulpit is that the people would not hear me, but they would hear from God. I have to be the voice.

I'm sort of the channel. The waiter that serves the meal, but I want them to hear the voice of God, you, you have a lot of people talking about listening to the voice of God listening trying to learn how to hear from God. If you want to hear from God, then you have to hear from his word and that is the priority. And that's what an expositor should be doing is letting God speaks through his word. If you feel pressure to do anything other than that, and succumb to that pressure you. You probably get another job yet.

Thank you, John, and friend.

If you're a pastor striving to lead God's people faithfully let me suggest you pick up the MacArthur New Testament commentary series. These commentaries take an in-depth look at every verse in the New Testament explaining biblical truth clearly and accurately.

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