This story that Jesus tells I think is one of his more brilliant ones. At least it is one of my favourites. Two sons are told to go work by their father. One says he’s not going to and then later changes his mind and goes and does it. The other one says he is going to do it and then never does it. Then he asks the people listening to his story which son did what their father wanted. The answer is the first one. Then he says
I tell you the truth, 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.
I’m sure I’m missing a lot of meaning in this story, so any help would be great, but there is a lot that I take out if this story. For starters I’m wondering if Jesus is saying that those who are currently saying I will not listen to God (tax collectors, prostitutes) are going to heaven because they eventually did listen. But those that are ‘listening now’ or at least think they are (Pharisees, religious people) never end up doing what God told them to do in the first place, love God and their neighbours. Or maybe the Pharisees have been hoping for a Messiah to deliver them, and when he comes and delivers them they don’t want it. They talk and talk about be delivered, but don’t really want it. Another story reminding us that those who we would think are in; aren’t and those that are in we were sure that they were no where close.
Is a story like this reminding us that our intentions mean very little and our actions are the crux of the matter?
Is this story a warning against procrastination?
Neither character in this story is really one I want to look up to. I’d rather be the guy that says he’s gonna do it and then does it.
Maybe it’s a story reminding us that decisions (“to accept Christ in your heart” maybe?) mean nothing, if they don’t do the work that God has for us. That would suck for our salvation numbers.
Are you seeing anything else in this story that I’m not?