HOST: Ron House
“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 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 when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.
This passage is really about the heart. In Jesus’ teaching, and throughout the New Testament, it is continually expressed that God desires the hearts of sinners that are soft, aware of sin, and repentant over those hearts and lives that are haughty and hypocritical. The Jewish leaders were very often of the latter type. They placed themselves above others and above sin. They were self-righteous and judgmental. They were hard-hearted, refusing to see or believe in Jesus, and condemning of anyone who did. In this short parable, Jesus describes them as the son that agreed to obey his father but never did. In contrast, Jesus said it is those who had initially refused to obey the father (sinners), but who had afterward repented and obeyed, who were justified. God still desires for us to have soft hearts. We are all sinners, redeemed by the blood of Christ. We must be willing to recognize our shortcomings, repent of our sins, and submit to God. In doing so, we must put away the high-mindedness and hypocrisy that Jesus condemned the Jews for. It is only in this way that we find the forgiveness that we need and become pleasing to God.
What are some things that can cause a person to become hard-hearted?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!