Here’s the story of a lovely lady
Who was bringing up three very lovely girls…
Remember this catchy theme song from eighties? It was written for the family show, Brady Bunch. You know this song so well I’m sure you can finish singing the rest of it without thinking too hard. And now, that song will be stuck in your head all day long, right? The Brady’s attempted to show family life that ended with some sort of moral lesson like, “Mom always said, don’t play ball in the house” and other teachable moments about obedience coupled with consequences. The Brady’s always figured out what was best by the end of the story. Do we figure it out in real life? And what is “it”?
As believers, we say we know God but we don’t always do what He says. We say we love God but we are sluggish in following Him. We say it is important to obey God but we are not quick to do it. God invites us to His work and we say yes, but then we don’t do it, we just talk about doing it. We even talk about how others should be doing it!
Jesus has a story about this condition of obedience that is detrimental to our spiritual health. The symptom that first appears is when God asks believers to move with Him to His higher ground thinking, to worry less and learn more about Him, to help someone in need and point the way to Him, or to stop what you are doing and listen to a brother or sister who needs an ear of understanding and compassion. We say “yes, Lord” at the end of a sermon on Sunday, but on Monday morning and through the week, do we actually do what we agreed with the Lord to do?
We know we can do better. Right? I pray we can.
Jesus tells a story about obedience aimed at the “church of the elite” powerful leaders who say they work for God but don’t do what God says. Jesus always tells the best stories to get us to understand His best for us. Jesus follows with a clear statement about the consequences of disobedience. He uses a Father and his two sons to illustrate spiritual Truth. If you have kids, you can relate well to this story. The older son honestly said no at first but then did what was asked of him. The younger son said yes to get his father off his back, as was his habit, but he had no intention of doing what was asked.
Friends, are we like the second son? To God’s face, we say yes, but do we actually show up and do it? Do we want to please God—or not? Do we want to be part of His Kingdom—or not? People who change their minds about God and really do what He says will be first to enter the Kingdom of God says Jesus!
Are we growing and maturing in our faith? The answer is revealed in our behavior.
Matthew—God’s Word Fulfilled
Matthew 21:28-32, NLT
Parable of the Two Sons
28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”
Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.
We repent of saying yes to you with no follow through obedience. Show us your plan and purpose. We desire to do what you want for we know without doubt your way is always the best way. I may ask, “are you sure, Lord”, that you want me to do certain tasks, so change my mind to line up with Your thinking. I want to be more like you and a lot less like me! Transform my thinking and resulting behavior. To you be all glory!
In Jesus Name, Amen