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To Do or Not to Do


Matthew 21:23-32

Verse 28b He [the father] went to the first and said, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.”

Yesterday we started talking about this parable about a dad and his two sons. We mentioned how we had examined another father with two sons a few weeks ago. The reason Jesus used this situation in both of these stories is because in the Jewish community Jesus saw two different kinds of God-followers. As we study this parable the rest of the week we’ll delve into these two sides and the decisions they made that revealed the kind of follower of God they were.

Read our key verse again. Did you catch that? The father didn’t ask, “Son, would you please do me a favor and go work in the vineyard today?” No, he told the son to go. He was the father and he knew he didn’t need to ask as he was the authority that the son was to obey. This may seem out of date to us as in our society we have seen parents go from telling their children what to do, to asking them to do it. In a sense we have allowed ourselves to be taught to lose our sense of respect for authority.

Authority seems to be a lost ideal in our modern era. Many children are no longer raised to respect authority figures. So many teachers deal with so many arrogant, unruly children that some have retired early because it is too hard to deal with. And this isn’t something new, although it is more widely accepted these days.

When we disrespect the authorities in our life it is easier to disrespect God. If we don’t learn to respect our parents, teachers, bosses, police officers, civil leaders and other such authorities whom we can see, how can we think that we will be ready to be obediently respectful of God? He doesn’t ask for our respect and obedience, He commands it! That is what the first 3 commandments are all about, putting Him in the driver’s seat of our lives.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. How can we love without respect? We can’t. If we truly love God then we should respect Him to the point of full obedience. What the Father says should be obeyed, no ifs, ands or buts.

Making It Personal

Has there been times you haven’t been overly willing to obey God? What is something you know God wants you to do today? How soon are you going to obey?

Making It Personal Kids

Do your mom and dad like to be obeyed? Did you know that God wants you to obey Him too? Why would you not obey Him?

Closing Prayer

Father, we are sorry for the times we have chosen not to obey. Help us learn how to love through obedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Martin, MI 49070

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