May 21 - Two Sons

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Matthew 21:28-32

There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 

“ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 

“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. 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.

In other words, those who become friends with God even after they wanted nothing to do with him are more obedient than those who say they are friends with God, yet show the world they are their own person.

I don’t know about you, but I know an awful lot of self-proclaimed Christians who make me nuts with their behavior.  All pious and righteous sounding on the outside, but on the inside, they are petty and negative, bitter and angry.  I would much rather know those people who have spent years living hard lives and when they honestly come to know Jesus become truly wonderful people.

One Sunday morning I saw a woman I had never met before arrive in church. Everyone else seemed to know her, but she was a stranger to me.  She was absolutely beautiful and I wanted to know her a little better.  I asked my mother who she was and Mom said, “I’m not surprised you didn't recognize her. She looked quite different last week when she went to the altar and gave herself to the Lord.” Then Mom told me her name and I was shocked beyond belief. The week before, this woman’s face told the story of a life that had been lived hard.  Everything about her was painted on, even her smile.  After her encounter with Jesus, that hardness dropped away, revealing beauty that still shines to this day.

We had a church filled with religious people who never exuded such gratefulness and awareness of the mercy and grace of God. In fact, many of them refused to accept her and were more interested in gossiping about her past than being excited for her future.  But, she found what they will always search for and never find as long as their religion is more important than having a relationship with God.

I was simply grateful that day to observe a miracle in the making, to see true transformation occur as a result of God’s grace.