The Parable of the Two Sons
28“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered. Matthew 21: 28-31
I’ve had this parable on my mind for a few weeks, now. I see myself as the first son which, in this story, turns out to be a good thing even though it reveals a boneheaded type who tends to do everything the hard way. Yep, that’s me. Strangely, I’ve had another scripture bouncing around in my head for a couple of days. I looked it up and, oddly, it is the very next line of verse 31, up there.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
How many times have we read this little jewel, nodding our heads in agreement about how narrow minded and merciless the chief priests and elders of the people were. (That’s who Jesus was talking to, FYI) I wouldn’t say that I believed JC enjoyed offending the religious leaders of the day. Occasionally, He pitched a few to the general public. (John 6: 32-66) And they were very offended, indeed. Who could blame them? Tax collectors were worse than traitors. They extorted money from their own people for the Gentile overlords. They had placed worldly comfort over their own sacred heritage. To them, it was like spitting on your mother. And prostitutes, well, everybody knew what God had to say about them. (ex. Proverbs 7:11-27) Scripture was clear, but here was Jesus, telling them that these unclean, sinful people were, in reality, more righteous than they. How dare He?
Who is the church throwing stones at, today? Who do we come together and throw around our fear talk about, these days? Homosexuals? Lesbians? Muslims? Democrats? Sorry, I threw that last one in there for my Tea Party friends. Come on, people, who’s got the clean life, anyway? You? Me? Well alright, let’s get our rocks together and start hurling. I’m sorry if this upsets anyone, but the facts are clear. God can and will use anyone He chooses, no matter who they are or what they’re up to. If you have a problem with this, google this name: Lonnie Frisbee. Lonnie’s ministry was one of the most powerful instigators of the modern charismatic movement. He carried the presence of the Holy Spirit in such intensity that whole churches full of people would fall, instantaneously when Lonnie called on Him. There was just one problem. Lonnie was gay. He died of AIDS in 1993.
As usual, I don’t know what I’m talking about most of the time. I’m just suggesting that we take another look at ourselves and how we express our beliefs. I don’t want anyone to question their faith, but maybe we should question how we live it. One son did the will of the father and one did not. Actions speak louder than words. I asked who the church is throwing stones at, today, and now I want to ask another question. Who is the modern pharisee? Who are the narrow minded and merciless ones, now?