“Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.” Matthew 21:31 NABRE
Jesus challenges the religious leaders with a question about two sons. Both sons are asked by their father to go work in the vineyard, the first refuses but changes his heart and goes, the second tells his father he will go but then does not. The question Jesus asks, who did the father’s will. Jesus is asking a question that will point to the religious leaders as hypocrites. Jesus will tell them that sinners (tax collectors and prostitutes are considered the lowest socioreligious people at that time) will enter the kingdom of God before them. The implication being these sinners say no to God at first but then change, particularly after they hear the message of John the Baptist to repent; but the religious leaders who put on a good show, making a great act of looking like they are doing the Father’s will tend to have hearts that seek power and praise and are not truly doing the Father’s will. Jesus thinks these religious leaders have to change otherwise they will watch repentant sinners enter the kingdom of God while they are left behind.
This message could be repeated over the years since Jesus spoke, often religious leaders stumble because of power and praise, while they project a sacred image we see many fall and their sinful hearts exposed. Jesus’ message is about what is in our hearts, it doesn’t matter how people judge us, God sees us for who we are and our true intentions. We cannot hide who we are from God even when we are trying to fool ourselves. Get to the kingdom of God by desiring the Father’s will in your heart. Let your heart lead you.
What is in your heart about the kingdom of God? Do you need to change your heart?God sees us for who we are and our true intentions. We cannot hide who we are from God even when we are trying to fool ourselves. Get to the kingdom of God by desiring the Father's will in your heart. Let your heart lead you. Click To Tweet
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