Our relationship with Jesus is based on trust and obedience. We can follow the rules, but are we following Him?
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
As we continue to look at Jesus’ life during Passion Week, today’s parable is probably my favorite. Let’s read it:
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.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 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.
I think what I like most about this parable is the fact that actions speak louder than words. The punchline is in verse 31, “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” We say we love Jesus, but do we consider Him before we speak? before we act? Most of us remember “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelets. I’m not talking about ethics; I’m talking about relationship. What was right last time may not be right this time. Circumstances change. People change. We need the dynamic guidance of the Holy Spirit! The second son repented and did what he was asked to do. I believe that he was led by the Spirit to repent. Had the first son inquired of the Lord, I think that the Lord would have directed him to go and work in the vineyard.
My sound techs have a static setting that is the default setting. It is what levels should be for most occasions. But, they know that every song on a CD can be have a different volume level. They know that not every singer sings at the same volume level, nor do my instrumentalists. So, they listen and dynamically adjust the volume on the music, the instruments, and the singers. To just leave the board at its static default setting begs for problems. The same goes for our lives. Living statically begs for problems. We need Jesus to dynamically adjust our direction as we walk with Him.
I also like the fact that Jesus considered everyone on the same playing field. When it comes to believing in Jesus–I mean actually trusting Him–no one gets a head start. The tax collectors and prostitutes (the dregs of society) were ahead of the religious leaders because they believed Jesus and trusted Him when the religious leaders didn’t. Jesus called them on it, “[they] are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
Let’s make sure that we are not just giving lip service to Jesus, but are looking to Him for guidance in our daily lives. He wants the fellowship and we need the guidance!
Abba, learning to trust You in every circumstance is an adventure every day as new circumstances arise. Remembering to lean on You in our familiar circumstances is important, too. May our relationship with You become all-important to us. I know it is with You. Lead on, O King Eternal. Amen.