Matthew 21:28 "What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29 He answered, 'I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
(Two Sons- Davis Collection)
Thoughts: This is a brilliant parable contrasting those who claimed to be righteous but did not follow through, with those who are unrighteous but then turned around toward righteousness. In our day this is a lesson for those who claim to be Christian, but do not worship as Christians or live the Christian life; compared to those who come to Christ later but never claimed to be righteous. In our culture- too many claim to know Christ but do not live the Christian life. It doesn't matter so much what you say on the outside if it is not matched by your heart on the inside, or your actions. The need of the hour is for Christians who don't just claim Christ but whose heart and actions match that claim.
Prayer: God, may my words, my heart, my actions all honor and glorify you today.
John Calvin abridged: Christ here unmasks the hypocrites. For though their ambition, pride, cruelty, and avarice were known to all they wanted to appear as different persons. Faith does not consist solely in a person's consent to true doctrine, but it involves the lofty devotion of the whole self to God.