REFLECTION FOR THIS WEEK - TRINITY 16
The Parable of the Two Sons (slideplayer.com)
Read Matthew 21:28-32 - The Parable of the Two Sons
Jesus' next parable is more at home. How often do parents ask a child to do something and an argument ensues? Not looking at this, though, Jesus goes down the track of the response being, 'No I won't.' and then the child does it, or 'Yes I will.' and the child does not. If we ask ourselves, 'Were we like that when we were young?' we would probably say, 'No.' but if we asked our parents what we were like, they would no doubt say that we were.
Jesus, however, is not wanting to concentrate on children but wants to make a point. Having set the scene and asked which child did what was asked, Jesus then brings the story back to where people are in their work and relationship with God. The Pharisees have been asked to 'work in the vineyard' i.e. to tell the people about the kingdom of God and they have said, 'We will go.' but they have not - indeed, they have put so many obstacles in the way for those seeking the kingdom of God that they can never achieve it. Even when other righteous people come to them, they do not believe them. They are stopping the children of God from entering His kingdom. Elsewhere, Jesus said that it is better for someone who prevents a child from entering the kingdom of God to tie a mill-stone around their neck and jump in the sea. The opposite to this is that if someone had asked a tax-collector or prostitute (both regarded as the scum of society) to go to the kingdom of heaven, each would probably have said, 'No.' Yet, when a righteous person came telling them of the kingdom of God, they were the first to believe - they went from saying they would not go to going.
We are all still a little rebellious from time to time. We may not be tax collectors or prostitutes or Pharisees but we do not always do as God wants. Part of maturing as Christians is to become more receptive to what God wants us to do and to be prepared to say, 'I will go.' when He asks and then to go.
O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers
of your people who call upon you;
and grant that they may both perceive and know
what things they ought to do,
and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Daily readings for this week:
Monday Luke 9. 46-50
Tuesday John 1. 47-end
Wednesday Luke 9. 57-end
Thursday Luke 10. 1-12
Friday Luke 10. 13-16
Saturday Luke 10. 17-24