Sunday 28 September 2014

Bible Book:

“What do you think?” (v. 28)

Matthew 21:23-32 Sunday 28 September 2014


"A man had two sons" - those words and indeed the gist of thestory will, I am sure, speak loudly to many of us who are parents.'Do as you are told' we might say to one child and they will say'yes' to placate their authoritarian parent, and then go off and dosomething that they want to do instead. 'Do as you are told' wemight say to the other who will stamp their feet and say 'no I willnot', and then some time later we will find that the task we hadasked them to do has been quietly undertaken and is complete. Yes,we can relate to the words that Jesus uses in speaking to the chiefpriests and elders here in this passage.

However what we do not always realise is that in strict Jewishthinking it is the tax collectors and the prostitutes who aredenying the authority laid down by God. It is they who, in theminds of the strict Jewish leaders, would be the ones who would sayno to what they were asked; it is they who were constantly refusingto adhere to the commands of God, but it is they who in Jesus'thinking always have the possibility to change their mind.

On the contrary the story is saying that the Pharisees, thosewho profess obedience at all times to the will of God, remaininactive in the things which really matter. They are so tied upwith getting the minute details of their religious duties in theright order, that they forget about their responsibility to theworld outside the temple.

The story challenges us to decide which of the two sons ourlifestyle relates to. Are we sometimes 'so heavenly minded that weare no earthly use' as the saying goes, or are we so involved inthe things of the world, that we sometimes forget about our duty toGod our heavenly parent.

To Ponder

  • How do we you create a true balance between yourspiritual life and your call to love your neighbours?
  • Which brother in the story do you relate to?
  • Are there times when you neglect to spend time seeking God'sauthority for the work you do and go your own way regardless ofwhat it is that he would expect of you? How might you change?
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