#DailyDevotion Which Son Are You Going To Be?
Matt. 2128“Now, what do you think of this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29“ ‘I won’t,’ he answered. Later he changed his mind and went. 30“The father went to the other one and told him the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but didn’t go. 31“Which of the two did what the father wanted?” They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, tax collectors and prostitutes are going into God’s kingdom ahead of you. 32John came to you in a righteous way, but you didn’t believe him; the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But even when you had seen that, you didn’t change your minds and believe him.”
The human mind or the sinful flesh is a strange thing. I remember hearing this in church as a child and then for a period of time when my parents asked me to do something I would say, no, and then I would go do it, because, well, I wanted to be like the good kid in the parable.
Now this parable follows the chief priests and elders asking Jesus by whose authority he did the things he did and Jesus asking them by whose authority did John the Baptist baptize. They wouldn’t answer Jesus because either way it would put them in a bad light. Jesus tells this parable as a way to perhaps get them to repent of their position and come into the light of the kingdom of heaven.
It’s a pretty simple point Jesus is making. Those who actually do what God wants are accepted and those who refuse to do what God wants are rejected. Now this is not about works righteousness or earning your way, or meriting your way into the kingdom of heaven either. The LORD sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of LORD, i.e. Jesus Christ the LORD made flesh. He made the way by calling all of Israel to repentance and baptism. Yet who do we see listening to John, going out to John in the wilderness, confessing their sins and being baptized into a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins? It was the tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, thieves, liars, murderers, drunkards, non-Sabbath goers, non-festival goers, the ceremonial unclean and unclean persons, and everyone else whose conscience was pricked by John’s preaching. Who was not going to John, confessing their sins and being baptized into a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins? It was the chief priests, elders, scribes, the Pharisees and anyone else who thought what they were doing was good enough.
Now John pointed the people also to Jesus, to follow him. The people who listened to John and did what John told them to do also followed Jesus. We see this with a number of the disciples Jesus had chosen. We see the same sort of people who accepted what John had said also accepting what Jesus says. We see the same sort of people who rejected John also rejecting Jesus. The LORD wanted people to accept John and Jesus’ teaching. Those who should have been first in line rejected both John and Jesus. Those we thought never would accept John and Jesus doing what the Father wanted.
The Father wants you to repent of your sins and be baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. He wants you to put your faith in Jesus and what he has done for you on the cross. He wants you to put your hope in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Merciful God and Father, grant us a repentant heart that accepts Jesus as the LORD, repents of our sins and unbelief and lives our lives according to your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.