Our Lord Jesus is in the final week of His life. The time between Palm Sunday and Easter. Matthew recalls that Jesus tells a few parables during that week. Here’s two of them. Jesus puts it right to His listeners, including a group of chief priests and Pharisees. He’s taking every opportunity to reach out to people. He never gives up. Always trying to reach everyone all the time. Do you realize that? When I first heard someone make that statement, I really had to think about it for awhile. But he’s right.
The story of the two sons shows that God gives second chances in this life. Jesus tells about a father who asks both his sons to work in his vineyard. The first says ‘no way’, but then thinks better of it and goes to work. The second son says ‘yes’, only to placate his father, and winds up not lifting even one finger. Who obeyed? The first son, of course. This is a parable about God’s second chances. The ‘yes’ of today and not the ‘no’ of yesterday. When we fail Him, get up Let Him give you His hand to help, and get going for Him NOW.
For the person who glibbly shakes his head ‘yes’ without any intention of following through, the outcome will not be very good. The religious folks thought that saying ‘yes’ was enough. But it wasn’t. The proof would be in the pudding. Jesus tells the story of tenant farmers who rent land from their Master, owing him a portion of the crop as payment for working his land. The tenant farmers decide to revolt. When the Master sends his officials to collect the rent, they beat them, even kill some. The tenants want to keep all the crops. But they really have none. Only renters, after all. That’s the deal. But they want it all. The Master figures that his son will be able to talk some sense into these senseless rebels.
No, they kill him as they had the others. How foolish–for he is the Master and he exacts justice in the end. Those ‘wretches (will come)to a wretched end’ (Matthew 21: 41). This story is clear. God keeps sending His messengers to ‘knock on the door’ of everyone’s heart. In all kinds of ways. God looks for the open door. Welcome Him in. Welcome…welcome…welcome! So sad that so few make such an offer. Embrace His loving arms. He died on that cross for you and for me. How could I ever turn my back on Him?
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for going to the Cross for us. To forgive all our sins. In your name. Amen.