Daily Reading & Prayer

Why Do People Reject Jesus?

April 27, 2024
Matthew 21:37-39 “Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.”


Shortly after Jesus cleared the temple in Matthew 21, he told a striking parable about a landowner, a vineyard, and some very rebellious tenant farmers. Here’s the gist: the landowner sends his servants to collect the vineyard’s fruits at harvest, but instead of handing them over, the tenants beat and kill the servants. You’d think they’d stop there, but no, they do the same with another batch of servants. Finally, the landowner sends his son thinking, “Surely, they’ll respect my son.” But they kill him too, hoping to snatch his inheritance. It sounds extreme, right? Why would the landowner keep sending help, and why are the tenants so ruthlessly violent?

This parable isn’t just a bizarre story; it’s a deep dive into human nature and rebellion. Those tenants knew exactly who the son was when they killed him—they weren’t confused. They just didn’t want him taking over what they considered theirs. It mirrors how the religious leaders in Jesus’ time saw him. They recognized his authority but rejected him because he threatened their power. Jesus told this story to expose their hearts: it was a clear, willful rejection, not a misunderstanding.

Paul hits on this in Romans when he talks about our natural resistance to God’s authority. He says, “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7). This isn’t just a clash of thoughts; it’s about what we want at our core. We often push back against God – not because his laws don’t make sense to us intellectually, but because we don’t want anyone, even God, telling us how to live our lives. The great news? If we’re willing to repent, God can transform this rebellious streak in us.

This gets to the heart of how we understand sin. It’s not just breaking a rule; it’s personal—it’s about our relationship with God. When the Holy Spirit opens our eyes, we start to see sin as not just a mistake or a rule-breaking, but as something that personally offends God. It’s like realizing that our actions don’t just violate a law, they break a heart—God’s heart. For some, their disbelief isn’t about lacking evidence. It’s deeper—it’s about not wanting to be under anyone’s rule, not even God’s. Jesus taught us that the real hurdle isn’t intellectual, it’s about whether we’re ready to let him lead our lives.


Our sin is more than a little mistake or an error in judgment. Our sin is personal rebellion and it grieves God. Maybe today you need to pray and ask God to help you see sin the way he sees it. Ask for a tender heart that feels the weight of sin as God does.


Jesus, open my eyes to see where I rebel against your standards, and soften my heart to embrace your lordship. Give me the courage to examine the areas where I struggle to submit to you. Teach me to respond – not with hostility, but with a willing spirit, ready to obey and serve you fully. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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