[From Albuquerque, New Mexico]
“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast into the outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
There are two things to ponder when reading this verse.
- Who are the children of the kingdom.
- What is the outer darkness.
A commonly held belief is, the children of the kingdom in this passage are non-Christians who go to hell. Yet, Matthew 13:38 tells us who the children of the kingdom are.
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom.”
The children of the Kingdom are “the good seed.” If they are the good seed in Matthew 13, they have to be the good seed in Matthew 8. In particular it refers to the believing children (people) of Israel. Good seed is just that; it’s good.
Therefore, good seed cannot be cast into hell, otherwise we have a big problem with all of Jesus’ statements regarding everlasting life. It wouldn’t be everlasting.
The passage in chapter 8 describes a feast in the kingdom of heaven. Since the context concerns the faith of a centurion (most likely not an Israelite), it appears many non-Jews will be at this great feast in the kingdom, “from east to west.” The feast appears to be a reward in the kingdom.
Those Jews who believed and are in the kingdom (belief in Jesus is the only way one can get into the kingdom), yet lacked ongoing faith (or weak faith?) are going to miss the feast. They will have to sit outside (the outer darkness), and not in the bright and well-lit banquet hall; they will be distraught over not being more faithful before the kingdom became a reality.
There will be some who are least in the kingdom and some who are greater (Luke 7:28).
But all who are believers are still “in the kingdom.”
The kingdom is the Messianic rule of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, on earth.
There are disagreements about this, but it is interesting to think about!