25th and 26th June
“…Then Jesus explained His meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while the tax collectors and prostitutes did….”
Jesus uses a story of two sons to illustrate our willingness to accept the gospel and let it change our lives. He explains that a father had two sons. He told the older son to go and work in the vineyards. At first he refused but after changed his mind and went. The younger son, firstly accepted his father’s commands, but eventually never went. Jesus used this imagery to explain the difference in the prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors decision to follow Him and that of the Pharisees decision to not follow Him. The prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors accepted Jesus’ teachings and followed Him but the Pharisees didn’t (even though they should have known better as ‘men of God’).
Sometimes the same is true of our lifestyles. At first we might reject the gospel and God’s love for us, but after we realise that there is nothing in this world that can satisfy, other than being loved by God, we change our way of living to honour Him. We realise, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, that the end product of our sinful lifestyles is death and destruction, yet choosing and accepting God, is life, joy and freedom. In contrast, there are some who follow God just to tick the box ‘I am a believer’. Yet there is no relationship and eventually they end up not following Him at all, just like the Pharisees.
We have a choice to make, to be honest with ourselves and see what son we are like. Let us not just say we follow Him but let our lifestyles reflect a child of God in a relationship with their Father. It is never to late to turn away from your sins, towards the grace and love of Almighty God.