What Jesus Did! 'God Forbid!' — Luke 20:14-16

Thursday, November 16, 2023

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[Jesus continued the story,] "But when the tenant farmers saw [the vineyard owner's] son, they said to each other, 'Here comes the heir to this estate. Let's kill him and get the estate for ourselves!' So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

"What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?" Jesus asked. "I'll tell you — he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others."

"How terrible that such a thing should ever happen," his listeners protested.

— Luke 20:14-16 NLT

Key Thought

Another translation says that the people's response to Jesus' story about tenant farmers killing the owner's son was, "God forbid!" [1] But God didn't forbid; he didn't stop the horrible events of Jesus' trial, rejection, and crucifixion. In fact, those events show God's love for us and demonstrate Jesus' obedience to the Father. Jesus' crucifixion was horrible — unconscionable — and despicable. Even in normal human circumstances, killing the son in Jesus' story would have been deplorable. Jesus, however, is much more than the son of the vineyard owner; he is the Son of God and heir to all that belongs to God. Yet he was treated with the utmost contempt. It is so sad — yet it is also our salvation!

[1] Luke 20:15-16.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for your mercy and grace. I am sorry that it cost so much to share it with me and that Jesus had to endure so much for me. By the sanctifying power of your Holy Spirit, help me to live each moment in full recognition of the great cost for my salvation. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:22-24
  • 1 Corinthians 1:20-25
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21


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Illustration of Luke 20:14-16 NLT — "


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.