Profess and Practice

 Which of the two did the will of his father?        Matthew 21:31

When John the Baptist was in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was truly the Messiah. Jesus responded, “Go and tell John what you hear and see, the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me” (Matthew 11:2-6). Now, after Jesus had made His final entry into Jerusalem, those who were offended by Him, Israel’s religious leaders, continued to question His authority. 

Jesus’ parable of the two sons exemplified the relationship of the leaders to the Lord. A father asks each son to go and work in his vineyard. The first son refuses but later repents and goes to work. The second son respectfully answers that he will go, but never does. Which son has been obedient? The logical answer is the first son. By implication, the religious leaders were like the second son who was respectful but disobedient. The leaders professed righteousness and obedience to God, but inwardly their hearts were prideful and far from practicing the love of God.  

As sinners, everyone falls short but, if you are a believer in Christ as your Savior, you are a new creation with the Holy Spirit living within you. Take time now to evaluate your responses to God as you learn to do His will. Then, pray for the people of this nation, especially those in positions of authority, that they would first know Christ as their Savior, then profess their faith in Him and practice God’s will in their daily lives. 

Today’s Verse: Matthew 21:31

Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Proverbs 16:2-8

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, 
    but the Lord weighs the spirit. 
3 Commit your work to the Lord, 
    and your plans will be established. 
4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, 
    even the wicked for the day of trouble. 
5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; 
    be assured, he will not go unpunished. 
6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, 
    and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. 
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, 
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 
8 Better is a little with righteousness 
    than great revenues with injustice. 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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