The Gospel of Matthew:
a commentary & meditation
tax collectors and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you"
Scripture: Matthew 21:28-32
28 "What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the
first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29 And he answered,
`I will not'; but afterward he repented and went. 30 And he went to the
second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,' but did not go.
31 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 harlots
go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way
of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and
the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward
repent and believe him.
Meditation: What kind of future are you preparing for? Jesus
encourages us to think -- to think about the consequences of our choices,
especially the choices and decisions that will count not just for now but
for eternity as well. The choices we make now will affect and shape our
future, both our future on earth as well as in the life of the age to come.
Jesus tells a simple story
of two imperfect sons to illustrate the way of God's kingdom. The father
amply provided for his sons food, lodging, and everything they needed.
Everything the father had belonged to them as well. The father also rewarded
his sons with excellent work in his own vineyard. He expected them
to show him gratitude, loyalty, and honor by doing their fair share of
the daily work. The "rebellious" son told his father to his face that he
would not work for him. But afterwards he changed his mind and did what
he father commanded him. The "good" son said he would work for his father,
but didn't carry through. He did his own pleasure contrary to his father's
will. Now who was really the good son? Both sons disobeyed their
father; but one repented and then did what the father told him. Jesus makes
his point clear: Good intentions are not enough. And promises don't
count unless they are performed. God wants to change our hearts so that
we will show by our speech and by our actions that we respect his will
and do it. God offers each of us the greatest treasure possibleľ
unending peace, joy, happiness, and life
with him in his kingdom. We can lose that treasure if we refuse
the grace God offers us to follow in his way of truth and righteousness.
Do you respect the will of your Father in heaven?
"Lord Jesus, change my heart that I may only desire that which is pleasing
to you. Help me to respect your will and give me the strength, joy and
perseverance to carry it out wholeheartedly."
Go to | Gospel
of Matthew | Daily
Readings & Meditations | Words
of Life |
(c) 2002 Don Schwager