Matthew 22:6

ESV while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
NIV The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.
NASB and the rest seized his slaves and treated them abusively, and then killed them.
CSB while the rest seized his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.
NLT Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.
KJV And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

What does Matthew 22:6 mean?

In Jesus' parable, the chosen citizens of a kingdom are actively refusing their king's invitation—really, a command—to come to a wedding feast for his son. Some have simply ignored the servants who delivered the message from the king, continuing to go about their daily lives (Matthew 22:1–5). Now Jesus pictures others as defiantly refusing the invitation. This group abuses the messengers and then kills them. They have gone beyond simply refusing to honor the king; they have started an active rebellion by murdering His servants.

This brings the meaning of Jesus' parable into sharper focus; it closely follows the pattern of the previous story (Matthew 21:33–44). In that parable, those renting a vineyard not only refused to pay the rent to the owner in the form of a share of the crops, they mistreated and killed the servants sent by the owner to collect his share.

Once again, Jesus pictures the prophets sent to Israel with the message of God as these servants of the king. Like the servants, those prophets were often mistreated and killed by the leaders and people of Israel (Acts 7:52). The issue being rejected, in this case, is the son of the king. God had invited Israel's religious leaders to welcome His Son, Jesus, as the Messiah. Not only had they rejected that invitation by rejecting Jesus; they would soon kill God's Son, as well (Matthew 16:21–23).

In the last parable, Jesus asked how the landowner would react to the murder of his servants and his son (Matthew 21:40). The obvious response was that he would respond in terrible judgment (Matthew 21:41). Here, Jesus will not pause to ask about the response. He will simply state the obvious (Matthew 22:7).
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