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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 22:5-6 NLT — "{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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 19:12, 14-16
  • John 8:54-59
  • Rev. 19:6-9


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.

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.