Tuesday of Passion Week is a day marked by confrontation with the religious leaders and teaching about what was to come. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and the experts in the Law all tried to discredit Jesus, but He stood His ground and kept His focus on His mission. Here is a little of what happened on Holy Tuesday afternoon:
Three Parables of Obedience and grace
The Parable of the Two Sons: Jesus shows the chief priests and elders that obedience is the outward evidence of faith; both were missing in Israel and revealed by their rejection of John the Baptist. (Matt 21:28-32)
The Parable of the Tenants: Jesus shows them that He is God's Son, whom the leaders are selfishly rejecting, resulting in the loss of Kingdom leadership for Israel and the rise of the Church. (Matt 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19)
The Parable of the Wedding Feast: Jesus shows that Israel's rejection has resulted in the extension of the offer of the Kingdom inclusion to outsiders and Gentiles, who still must come the right way. (Matt 22:1-14, Luke 14:15-24)
Jesus gives these three parables outlining history and salvation on a micro and macro level. Its almost as if He knew what He was doing!
Did You Know?
When Jesus gave the Parable of the Tenants, He said the Kingdom of God would be taken from Israel and given away to a people who will produce fruit. The people who Jesus is talking about is the Church. In the Old Testament, Kingdom leadership was given to Israel, but Jesus said in Matthew 16:19 that the "keys of the kingdom" were now given to the disciples. In other words, the disciples now represented Jesus as the seeds of the Church.
Recall that the Church is described as a royal priesthood and a holy "nation" or "people" in 1 Peter 2:9. Peter uses Exodus 19:6 imagery that was previously used for Israel to describe the Church. Jesus is saying in the Parable of the Tenants that it is the Church who is now leading God's Kingdom program in the world.