Monday, April 25, 2011
The "holy" way or the Lowly Way
Religiousity or Righteousness.
Outward appearance, or internal compliance.
Today Jesus tells a story...
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
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. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him."
The story is one that every parent can relate to. Even if you only have two children, it is likely that they are each very different from each other.
The first son is what we would now call a "strong willed child." When asked to help his father, his first response was rebellious and confrontive. "I will not go" was his immediate reply. This is a kid who is very hard to manage. He causes his parents a lot of grief. However, in this story he changes his mind and decides to obey.
In this story, the second son is outwardly compliant. "Yes, Dad" was the answer. But he was what we would now call "passive aggressive." He said yes, so the problem of the moment was solved. But he disobeyed, doing whatever he pleased. These children are difficult for a parent because of their back handed and sneaky ways of disobeying.
Jesus asks the obvious question. Even though one kid looked good at the time, and the other kid was rebellious and hard headed, in the end, which kid did the right thing? Which kid obeyed the father?
So those who look so good on the outside, all religious and stuff, were actually not doing the will of God, but just making it hard for sincere people to find God at all.
And those who looked so bad on the outside, living a life of greed and sin, were turning from their wrongful ways, repenting, and coming to God with sincerity and trust.