Until the Fulness of the Gentiles Comes In

You recall that I highlighted a very important parable in Luke 19 given by the Lord Jesus just days away from His cross (Luke 19:11-28). The reason for the parable was that the people (Jews) thought that the kingdom of God would appear immediately. This was not true.  The parable concerned a Nobleman that went away to receive a kingdom and return. He gave money to ten of his servants, told them to invest the money energized by the words “Do Business Until I Return.” We linked this parable to Christ’s ascension from the Mount of Olives and His giving gifts to men to invest during this age of the church – which is now (Ephesians 4:11-16).

What was to become of Israel during this time? It is not by chance that the Lord Jesus answered this very question with another parable in Luke 20 (right next door). The context is the same as the parable in Luke 19. The Lord Jesus was days away from the cross. His words could be the words of the dying Lamb of God. “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again, he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again, he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when the people heard it they said, “Certainly not!” Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’? Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” (Luke 20:8-18).

This parable answers the question concerning the action of Israel before the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ and has come to pass in detail.  God’s kingdom at first was given to Israel (God’s vineyard) to bring forth fruit pleasing to God. They constantly dropped the ball. They beat and killed God’s prophets sent to them (Lk. 20:9-12). In the end God sent His only begotten Son to them. Surely, they would respect Him!

The King came and presented the kingdom to the Jews (Matthew 5-7). The leaders in Israel responded, “Here is the Heir, let’s kill Him and the inheritance will be ours” (Lk 20:14; Matt. 11-12). The leaders in Israel rejected their King and helped to kill God’s Son (John 1:11). What will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.

The truth of this came to pass exactly as it was given. Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and the Jews were dispersed throughout the world. Dispersed, that is, until they were given a homeland in Palestine (the Balfour Declaration of 1917, fulfilled April 20, 1948). God’s kingdom has now been removed from the nation of Israel and given to another – the church! The vast number of Jews are now scattered throughout the world – and blindedto their true worth to God. They will remain blinded in part (partial) until (until what)? (Rom. 11:25). This blindness is partial because some Jews are responding to the gospel and placing their faith in their Messiah today.  This will continue “until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in – the last Gentile is joined to the body of Christ (Rom. 11:25).

Jesus spoke of the very same event. He said that Jerusalem would fall by the edge of the sword and be trampled by the Gentiles (70 A.D.) “until.” (Luke 21:24). Jesus used the time word. Until what? Until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Wow! Until the last Gentile is added to the body of Christ. Until Jerusalem and the temple are no longer trampled down by the Gentiles. When this happens, the times of the Gentiles will end, the King will come again, and God will once again turn His attention to the Jews to fulfill His promises to David. God is a covenant keeping God. He never goes back on His word. Amazing! Stay safe and stay tuned.