What Jesus Did! 'Brutal Refusal' — Matthew 22:5-6

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"{The servants went and told the people to come.} But the people refused to listen to the servants. Those people went to do other things. One person went to work in his field, and another person went to his business. Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them."
— Matthew 22:5-6
Illustration of Matthew 22:5-6 — "{The servants went and told the people to come."

Key Thought

The power of this parable, this story, is found in a few key identifications. Clearly, the King in this story is God. The Son, or prince, he wants honored is Jesus. As was standard practice, he sent a general invitation to his banquet and then a specific one announcing that it was ready. To refuse to come to the King's banquet when you were invited was a slight beyond imagination. Very few would be invited to such an event. To be invited was truly an honor. But the refusal in this story, the rejection of the Son, is especially striking. They were invited a third time and refused to come. In fact, they chose to go about their everyday activities and not come to the King's banquet for his Son. But more than rejecting the invitation, they abused and even murdered the King's servants. Clearly Jesus is passing judgment on the refusal of the Jewish leadership to respond to him as God's royal Son. He is declaring in this story that their refusal is not only rude, it is hostile and unconscionable. In rejecting the Son and acting murderously to God's servants, they are rejecting God and his rule over them.

Today's Prayer

Holy Father, this story places two things on my heart that I feel deeply about. First, please forgive me when I have refused your invitation or passed the opportunities you have placed before me to honor your Son. Second, I have several friends on my heart who have refused invitation after invitation to honor the Son in their lives. Please use me to help them discover the wonderful grace and power of your Son and my Savior. In the name of Jesus, the Son of the living God, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus used stories to say some other things to the people. Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a king that prepared a wedding dinner for his son. The king invited some people to the feast. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell those people to come. But the people refused to come to the king's feast. "Then the king sent some more servants. The king said to the servants, 'I have already invited those people. So tell them that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves to be eaten. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.' "{The servants went and told the people to come.} But the people refused to listen to the servants. Those people went to do other things. One person went to work in his field, and another person went to his business. Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. The king was very angry. The king sent his army to kill those people that killed his servants. And the army burned their city. "After that, the king said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready. I invited those people, but they were not good enough to come to my feast. So go to the street corners and invite all the people you see. Tell them to come to my feast.' So the servants went into the streets. They gathered all the people they could find. The servants brought good people and bad people to the place where the wedding feast was ready. And that place was filled with people. "Then the king came in to see all the people. The king saw a man there that was not dressed in the right clothes for a wedding. The king said, 'Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not wearing the right clothes for a wedding.' But the man said nothing. So the king told some servants, 'Tie this man's hands and feet. Throw the man out into the darkness. In that place, people will cry and grind their teeth {with pain}.' "Yes, many people are invited. But only a few are chosen."

Matthew 22:1-14

Related Scripture Readings

After this, Pilate tried to let Jesus go free. But the Jewish leaders yelled, "Any person who makes himself a king is against Caesar. So if you let this man (Jesus) go free, that means you are not Caesar's friend." It was now almost noon on Preparation day of Passover week. Pilate said to the Jews, "Here is your king!" They yelled, "Take him away! Take him away! Kill him on a cross!" Pilate asked them, "Do you want me to kill your king on a cross?" The leading priests answered, "The only king we have is Caesar !" So Pilate gave Jesus to them to be killed on a cross. The soldiers took Jesus.

John 19:12, 14-16

Jesus answered, "If I give honor to myself, then that honor is worth nothing. The One that gives me honor is my Father. And you say that he is your God. But you don't really know him. I know him. If I said I did not know him, then I would be a liar like you are liars. But I do know him. And I obey what he says. Your father Abraham was very happy that he would see the day when I came. He saw that day and was happy." The Jews said to Jesus, "What? You have never seen Abraham ! You are not even 50 years old!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. Before Abraham was born, I AM. " When Jesus said this, the people picked up rocks to throw at him. But Jesus hid, and then he left the temple area.

John 8:54-59

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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.