In good rabbinic style, Jesus answers their question by posing a question. Have you had the moment when God has called you, but you have not done what He has asked? 30"The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, 'I will, sir'; but he did not go.

“For they preach but they do not practice” (Mt 23:3). Jesus gives us a picture of a father who asks his sons to complete a task—to go work in the vineyard.  When the father comes to the first son, this son is particularly nasty.  He is outright defiant, obstinate, and rude.  Indeed, he is a son who talks back—deserving of firm discipline in many homes.  The son replies to his father, “I will not!” or even sassily, “I don’t want to!” “I don’t feel like it!”, This son is despicable, rebellious and deserving of the discipline of his father.  A household simply cannot run—especially on a farm—with such attitudes, and resistance.  Chores are delayed, and timely, pertinent, and important work is not done.Â. Susan Pendleton Jones is director of special programs at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils. His question involves their understanding of the authority of John the Baptist.

When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Their “authority” question, and Jesus’ answer, was based on Malachi 3:1-3, and just after that, we see a son serving and the wicked who don’t — just like the parable! The Christian life is one which lives unreservedly for Jesus—it is the Decided Life.

 [Jesus asked:] 31"Which of the two [of these sons] did the will of his father?" Will you be merely a hearer of the Word, but not a doer? "Who has been obedient to the father?"

32For John [that is, John the Baptist] came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him. I know some of you have.  I have spoken to many of you.  Many of you are from many different walks of life and have lived lives of sin and rebellion.  Some of you were unrighteous.  Some of you were like the Corinthians: “fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, swindlers.”  But you had your ‘afterward’—your change of heart, your changed heart.  “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  Praise be to Him who still walks with repentant sinners!

The hymn in verses 6-11 is one of the earliest known professions of faith of the first Christians.

For many, the Christian faith means no more than just a traditional ritual which connects us to our families, our pasts and even to other people. Matthew records that three times he had prayed: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." The religious leaders had seen the changes in the lives of the sinners.  They had seen how some tax-collectors no longer stole from people.  They had seen how prostitutes no longer sold themselves for sex.  They saw how lives were flipped upside-down and right-side up.  They saw the blind receive sight, the lame walk and the deaf hear.  But afterward—afterward—they did not repent and do the will of the Father who is in Heaven.
He calls each of us to faith and trust in Him. Wouldn’t this task be of the most vital importance and one which we should give our attention to? It results in radical obedience and service to others, even suffering and death on a cross.

The passion narrative is the story of a series of violations.

And what if you are like the second son.  If we are honest with ourselves, most of us are like this second son in ways big and small.  We are quick to say, “Yes, Lord” but so slow to go.  There is always our reply: “I will go…” “In a minute!” or “Not yet,” or “I just need to figure some things out before I follow you, Lord.” or “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus is asking for you now. We have also seen that some of those parables also show the … He came for that son, who though he has been a hypocrite, though he had talked the talk, but he has not walked the walk.  He came even for he who has been self-righteous, who has appeared righteous, but is really like a whitewashed tomb that holds a rotting body.  He came even for him who repents from his sin and turns to Jesus Christ—Jesus Christ, the only righteous One who also makes those who believe righteous.  But Jesus is calling on us all to stop making promises we have absolutely, positively no intention of keeping.Â, And it is this Jesus, who because of His obedience, even obedience to the point of death, gives us hope.  For in His obedience, those who believe on His name are freed from the eternal penalty of sin, and we are freed to live lives of obedience. The parables of Two Builders and the Two Sons bring us to the third theme of the parables, namely obedience. Ezekiel demands of the house of Israel compliance with the covenant with God; it is not enough to feign piety while they worship idols. that was in Christ Jesus. Being so conformed, they will then be able to fulfill his hope for them: that they may "walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.". Have you had your own ‘afterward’ moment—that moment of decision?  That moment after the Lord calls you to do His will, and you have to make a decision?  Have you come to that place where you were mired in your sin?

A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' Afterward. Recommended Resource: Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

As Wayne Meeks has argued, "This letter's most comprehensive purpose is the shaping of a Christian phronesis, a practical moral reasoning that is 'conformed to [Christ's] death' in hope of his resurrection." Jesus asks His audience to answer which of the two sons does the will of the father in the parable.  Of course it is the first son.  The son who—even though he was openly rebellious and nasty—afterward he regretted it and changed his mind and did the will of the father. BOX769, Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, 28“What is your opinion?

He who did not "grasp" at likeness to God is, because of his obedience, given the title "Lord"—the first known proclamation of faith among gentile Christians. Paul admonishes the Philippians to be united in Spirit and to imitate Christ— who acts in love with compassion and mercy—to be selfless and humble, to serve one another as if they serve Christ, to be obedient to the Father even to the point of death as the ultimate sacrifice.


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