The Tale of Two Sons

Read Through the Bible in 2 Years: Matthew 21

“”A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went.

And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.

Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.”

Matthew 21:28-32 ESV

Think of how deeply this parable must have resonated with Matthew. I can just imagine Matthew writing furiously, trying to record every word as Jesus spoke. Matthew had been a tax collector when the Lord called him. Yet, Matthew was a Jew, grieving that his fellow Jews were missing the Messiah! Matthew was like that first son who had said, “I will not,” but later had obeyed. Matthew himself had rejected the ways of God, but later Jesus had “changed his mind and he had believed” like he wrote in verse 32.

I’m so thankful that the Lord led Matthew to record this parable for us. And I’m doubly thankful that the Lord has made a way for those of us who were once running headlong away from God – like Matthew and like me – to enter the kingdom. Let’s pray for those who think they are following God, who are saying with their lips, “Oh, yes, sir, I’m going,” but who are heading the wrong direction, trusting in their own good deeds to be saved, rather than the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, I lift up before Your throne of grace those who think they are following you, those who think they are heading toward you, but will one day hear, ‘I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” I pray that You would open their eyes and soften their hearts to the truth that we can only be saved through trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Wake them up to this reality before it’s too late. In the Good and Gracious Name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

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