"Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.Matthew 21:43(NASB)
God's plan and purpose for Israel was that through them all the nations of the earth would be blessed. They were to be the nation through whom the Messiah would be born. They were to be a light to the Gentiles and a people of righteousness. Not only were they given the Law and the prophets, but Israelites are God's adopted son and heirs of His kingdom promises.
Sadly, when their long-awaited Messiah arrived, the nation had fallen into religious apostasy and did not recognise Him. They despised and rejected Him. They refused to believe His testimony and even had Him crucified on a Roman cross. Although they were heirs of the kingdom, they had become a people who had strayed far from the Lord and had to be set aside – for a season.
Only days before His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus wept and mourned that His people had "missed the day of their visitation," and sadly announced, "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it." They had missed the opportunity of being the generation that witnessed the arrival of their Messiah, and the setting up of His kingdom on earth.
There are two schools of thought about Christ's announcement that the kingdom would be taken from them and given to a nation that would bring forth fruit of righteousness.
Some consider Jesus is referring to the Church, the Body of Christ, and many even make the unbiblical claim that God has finished with Israel and has transferred all their promises to Christians. But we are not a nation. We are a Body of believers from many nations, and the Church has NOT replaced Israel.
Although believers in the Church age have certainly been called to produce the fruit of righteousness and the Lord is using us to proclaim the gospel of grace to unbelievers, it is most likely the last generation of Jews are the people about whom Jesus is speaking – for a day is coming when that nation will repent of their sin, turn from unbelief to faith in God's Anointed, and cry out, "Hosanna" to their Messiah: "Hosanna to the Son of David." Hosanna, SAVE US!
Although Christians today are indeed working the works of God, it is that final generation of His chosen people Israel, who will complete the good work that God has started in them, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt and adopted them as His firstborn son. The kingdom that was taken from the generation that rejected their Messiah will be given to the generation of Jews that repent of their sin, call on their Messiah to save them, and welcomes Him back to their land when He comes in clouds of glory.
Through unbelief, the kingdom of heaven was taken away from the people of Israel at Christ's First Coming. However, at His Second Coming, when He returns in great power and glory to set up His kingdom in Jerusalem, a redeemed Israel who finally acknowledge Christ as their Messiah and King, will produce the fruit of righteousness through faith in God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and the lessons You are teaching me through it. Thank You that Your Word is true and that You have not finished with Your people, Israel. Thank You that because of Israel’s unbelief, I have become a citizen of heaven and joint heir with Christ. I pray for the day when Your people cry out in repentance for salvation. I will rejoice with them when the kingdom that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and David, is fully and finally realised. In Jesus' name, AMEN.