“For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'”Matt. 23:39 (NASB 1995)
Jesus has been teaching in the temple around chapter 21 to 23 of Matthew, and closes that section out by saying some startling things to the Jewish religious leaders – “Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the the name of the Lord”. Because of its open-eyed unbelief on its Messiah, Israel has been initially rejected by God as the instrument of the Last Days, but He has confirmed Israel as the instrument of the immediate Last Days. What I mean by that, is in Romans chapter 11 starting verse 7 through 25 is a discussion of the place of Israel in this particular part of history. And it mentioned that a blindness, or a hardness, or a callousness has come upon the mind of National Israel until a strange thing God does with the Gentile people, giving them an understandability about the Gospel until the Gentile world completely responds and the fullness thereof comes in. And then toward the end, God’s going to remove those blinders from Israel and as the ‘natural branch’ be right back in with the ‘unnatural branch’ grafted into the one people of God, which is to say His church. I am not inclined toward Dispensationalism really, but I know the centrality of the Nation Israel, and I also know the centrality of people of God (church). I think the strongest thing Jesus ever said to this effect is the parable of the man who planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers. He sent hirelings to collect his dues but beat them up and drove them away. Finally he sent his beloved son, thinking that he would be treated with some respect, but killed him instead. This a beautiful parable of Israel’s rejection of their Messiah and their consequent rejection by God to be the instrument to bring God’s Redemption to the world. I think that parable is still in effect at this particular point in history.