Q. I came across a verse that I don’t understand, I am hoping you can help me. In Matthew 8:12 it says, “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness.” Who are the “sons of the kingdom?” Thank you for your help.
A. Matt. 8:5-13 tells of Jesus healing the servant of a Roman Centurion (soldier). In Matt. 8:10 Jesus complimented the Centurion, a gentile, on his faith, saying He hadn’t found faith like that even among the Israelites. When He said people would come from the East and the West to take their seats in the Kingdom of Heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he was speaking of other gentiles with faith like the centurion’s. It’s a reference to the Church. The sons of the Kingdom, who will be cast out into the outer darkness (Matt. 8:12), is a reference to unbelieving Jews.
Remember, at first the Kingdom was offered only to Israel (Matt. 10:5-6). They were the intended sons of the Kingdom. But when they rejected the Messiah, the offer was extended to the Gentiles. Later, Jesus made this point more clearly in His Parable of the Tenants (Matt. 21:33-46). Speaking to the religious leaders he said, “Therefore I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit” (Matt. 21: 43).