2 Brothers – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Jesus says that the one who hears his words and obeys is like a wise man that built his house on the rock. There are two things this person must do: hear and obey. Obedience cannot be accomplished without hearing. Hearing is not realized until what has been taught has been put into practice.

Jesus gives another parable to make this point. There were 2 sons and their father told them to go work in the vineyard. One son says no, but later changes his mind and goes to the vineyard to work. The other son says yes, but later changes his mind and does not go to the vineyard to work. Jesus asks which son did what the father asked? Well, obviously it’s the first son.

This is such an important parable to understand. We see how hearing and obeying are closely intertwined. The first son did not want to go. He even told his father no. You might call this son incredulous or foolish or ungrateful. Perhaps he was just grumpy. Whatever the reason this son spoke boldly and wickedly to his father. He refused a simple request to his father’s face. And yet something did not sit well with this son. After considering his father and perhaps the request, the first son concludes that his initial refusal was too strong. The first son, realizing his mistake, is moved by his conscience to obey the father by going to work the vineyard.

By contrast the second son does the opposite. He wanted to please the father. He likes the father and doesn’t want to disappoint, so he says he will obey and work the vineyard. But after some time this son begins to think about the inconvenience of working the vineyard. His father probably doesn’t even need help in the vineyard anyway. What is the big deal? So what if he doesn’t go. His father has other workers.

This parable shows clearly the difference between what we say and what we do. We might say that we love and follow God, but our lives reflect the reality—or unreality—of that belief. The son who truly believed was, ironically, the son who said he would not go.

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