Which Son Am I?
Verse 31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
To finish our delving into this parable we need to back up and get the big picture. Sometimes looking at things up close we miss things that have clear shape that is evident from a distance.
We talked the other day about how the father didn’t ask his sons to go work in the vineyard but that he told them to go. We need to take note that they weren’t together when they were told to go work. Nor does it say that the father decided to go ask the little brother because the older brother had defied him. Both brothers were given the task of working in the vineyard but only one ended up going and doing the work.
One son made the choice to obey his father, one son chose to lie and do his own thing. Both missed a blessing. They didn’t know if the other brother had also been told to work in the vineyard. The older brother didn’t care if the younger brother was there to help or not because what had come to matter to him was the father and his desires. The younger brother didn’t care if the older brother was going to be there working or not because all he cared about was his own wants.
What the father wanted was really the only thing that mattered and so it was with the religious leaders that Jesus was talking to. They knew they had to choose the oldest brother as the obedient son. But they didn’t appreciate what Jesus said next. They didn’t want to hear that they were the disobedient son any more than we like to hear that. Yet it was truth then and is true now.
God, our Father, has asked all of us to love as He loves. He has set certain standards in place for His children and they aren’t always the standards that we think they should be. Why should we love our enemies? Because God said we were to love them. Why should we live pure and holy lives? Because God said it was a must. He isn’t asking us to obey, He is telling us to obey. And our level of obedience reveals our level of love for Him. Obedience is a choice. So is love. We also need to remember that we aren’t the only one chosen for the work. We have fellow laborers and we need to work together to accomplish what He has given us to do.
Making It Personal
Which brother are you like? Are God’s commands more important to you than your desires? What choices need to be made in your life to align your desires with God’s?
Making It Personal Kids
Which brother are you like – do you obey even when you don’t want to or do you ignore what you are told to do? What are some of the things God commands? Do you love God and want to obey Him?
Father, please forgive us for choosing things other than what You are telling us to do. Don’t let us get comfortable in our sins. We want to obey. In Jesus’ name, amen.