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

Sunday, October 10, 2021

[Talking to the religious leaders, Jesus continued his story about the vineyard owner's efforts to collect from the tenant farmers:] "When the owner of the vineyard returns," Jesus asked, "what do you think he will do to those farmers?"

The religious leaders replied, "He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest."

— Matthew 21:40-41 NLT

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; if we reject this gift, it will not go unnoticed!

Those who rejected Jesus during his life on earth 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 the things that may lead 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 2:7-12
  • Acts 3:13-15
  • Matthew 8:8-12


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Illustration of Matthew 21:40-41 NLT — "He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest."

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.