SCRIPTURE: Matt. 20-22
28“Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, ‘Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.’
29“The son answered, ‘I don’t want to.’ Later on he thought better of it and went.
30“The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, ‘Sure, glad to.’ But he never went.
31-32“Which of the two sons did what the father asked?”
They said, “The first.”
Jesus said, “Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God’s kingdom. John came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn’t care enough to change and believe him.
OBSERVATIONS: Too often, people are quick to say “YES,” but slow to dedicate their lives to the practice of agape love and selfless discipleship. We cannot discount those who authentically repent after years of sin. And we cannot dishonor the Father by honoring a failing workforce in the kingdom, no matter how heartfelt their words. Deeds count.
APPLICATION: Joey, it is time to return to the vineyards. That doesn’t mean, “Build me a wine press, establish a winery, handcraft 3000 casks, and start glassblowing the bottles yourself.” It means tend the vines. Look for fruit. Prune when I tell you. Fertilize, but don’t BS. Care enough about the calling to change, and to help others to find changed lives.
PRAYER: God, thank you for a clear word today. Bless me to bless others. Through Christ I ask it, Amen.
Author: Joey Reed
Joey is married to his best friend and they live in Kentucky. Joey serves Mayfield First United Methodist Church, the Purchase District, the Memphis Annual Conference, and the world is his parish.