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Dec 29 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Sixty-five – Matthew 21:28-32

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ Matthew 21:28

In the previous story, there is a very clear rift between the common people, who believed John the Baptist was a prophet, and their religious leaders, who did not believe John (vv. 25-26). So who stood the best chance of being acceptable to God? The common people with all of their daily defilements, compromises, and wrong-headed ideas about theology or the chief priests and elders who practically lived in the temple and were involved in worship every day?

In the parable, Jesus tells a story of two sons. One of them said the wrong thing, but changed his mind and did the right thing. The other said the right thing, but never got around to doing it. Through the story, Jesus illustrated why tax collectors and prostitutes–that is, people whose lives said the wrong thing–were entering the kingdom of God ahead of the priests and elders, whose religious lives said the right thing. In other words, the parable reveals why the leaders would lose their way and the losers would lead the way.

Lord Jesus, You are the Giver of hope. If we have lived according to our own will while refusing to do God’s will, we can change our minds and right now You will take us to the front of the line. If we have lived pious and moralistic lives but without ever getting beyond mere words, we can hand our hearts over to You and right now You will make our spiritual life real. What matters is not what we have done or failed to do until now, but only that we surrender to Your kind heart which will empower us to be and do exactly what our Father wants.

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