What Jesus Did! 'Harsh Justice' — Matthew 21:40-41

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"So what will the owner of the vineyard do to these farmers when he comes?" The Jewish priests and leaders said, "He will surely kill those evil men. Then he will lease the land to some other farmers. He will lease it to farmers that will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
— Matthew 21:40-41
Illustration of Matthew 21:40-41 — "So what will the owner of the vineyard do to these farmers when he comes?"

Key Thought

We sometimes naively suppose that we can accept or reject truth, especially truth about Jesus, with impunity. God emptied heaven of its greatest treasure to redeem us; our rejection of this gift will not go unnoticed! Those who rejected Jesus then, rejected him because of the hardness of their hearts, their desire to preserve the status quo, and their own petty jealousies. For many of the same reasons, we can "domesticate" or even reject Jesus in our lives today. We must know that the decision we make about Jesus matters immensely! Now the real challenge for us is to examine our own hearts and see what is blinding us from recognizing what leads us to reject Jesus as he challenges us to radical transformation.

Today's Prayer

O precious Father, help me never to take your gift of Jesus lightly. I know it cost you much to send him and I want to thank you by offering you my life and my future. Thank you for your wonderful grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"Tell me what you think about this: There was a man that had two sons. The man went to the first son and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' "The son answered, 'I will not go.' But later the son decided he should go, and the son went. "Then the father went to the other son and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' The son answered, 'Yes, sir, I will go and work.' But the son did not go. "Which of the two sons obeyed his father?" The Jewish leaders answered, "The first son." Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth. {You think} the tax collectors and the prostitutes {are bad people. But they} will enter the kingdom of God before you enter. John came showing you the right way to live. And you did not believe John. But the tax collectors and prostitutes believed John. And you saw that the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But you still refused to change and believe him. "Listen to this story: There was a man that owned a vineyard. He put a wall around the field and dug a hole for a wine press. Then the man built a tower. He leased the land to some farmers. Then he left for a trip. Later, it was time for the grapes to be picked. So the man sent his servants to the farmers to get his share of the grapes. "But the farmers grabbed the servants and beat one. They killed another one and then killed a third servant with rocks. So the man sent some other servants to the farmers. The man sent more servants than he sent the first time. But the farmers did the same thing to the servants that they did the first time. So the man decided to send his son to the farmers. The man said, 'The farmers will respect my son.' "But when the farmers saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the owner's son. This vineyard will be his. If we kill him, then it will be ours!' So the farmers took the son, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. "So what will the owner of the vineyard do to these farmers when he comes?" The Jewish priests and leaderssaid, "He will surely kill those evil men. Then he will lease the land to some other farmers. He will lease it to farmers that will give him his share of the crop at harvest time." Jesus said to them, "Surely you have read this in the Scriptures : 'The stone that the builders did not want became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.' "So I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you. God's kingdom will be given to people that do the things God wants in his kingdom. The person that falls on this stone will be broken. And if the stone falls on a person, then it will crush that person." The leading priests and the Pharisees heard these stories that Jesus told. They knew that Jesus was talking about them. They wanted to find a way to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid of the people, because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.

Matthew 21:28-46

Related Scripture Readings

Now I will tell you about the Lord's agreement. The Lord said to me, "Today I become your father! And you are my son. If you ask me, I will give the nations to you. All the people on earth will be yours! You could destroy those nations like an iron rod shattering a clay pot. " So, you kings, be wise. All you rulers, learn this lesson. Obey the Lord with much fear. Show that you are loyal to God's son. If you don't do this, he will become angry and destroy you. People who trust the Lord are happy. {But other people should be careful.} The Lord is about ready to show his anger.

Psalm 2:7-12

No! God did it! He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is the God of all our fathers. He gave glory to Jesus, his special servant. But you gave Jesus to be killed. Pilate decided to let Jesus go free. But you told Pilate you did not want Jesus. Jesus was pure and good (innocent), but you said you did not want him. You told Pilate to give you a murderer instead of Jesus. And so you killed the One that gives life! But God raised him from death. We are witnesses of this—we saw this with our own eyes.

Acts 3:13-15

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.