Choices in the Vineyard
28 “But give me your opinion: a man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I don’t want to’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to his other son and said the same thing. This one answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they replied. “That’s right!” Yeshua said to them. “I tell you that the tax-collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you! 32 For Yochanan came to you showing the path to righteousness, and you wouldn’t trust him. The tax-collectors and prostitutes trusted him; but you, even after you saw this, didn’t change your minds later and trust him.
Jesus is now talking to the religious leaders of the day. He is not speaking with His disciples, although I am sure they were around. Jesus is speaking directly with those that pretty much directly dislike Him.
Amazingly, He asked their opinion!!! Knowing they disliked Him, He still asked for their thoughts... I wonder what He would have said if they did not choose the "correct answer." Not sure why I am thinking that, but it popped into my head.
The parable is pretty clear: Everyone has a choice. You might not choose to "go now," but making the choice to go is positive. Saying you will, and then choosing not too... that's a different response.
Jesus also acknowledged John the Immerser. John was paving the way for Truth to be taught and revealed. John knew Who Jesus was and did His best to point people to Him. The religious leaders of the day did not choose to follow.
Working in the vineyard is not easy. Heat. Getting dirty. Getting cut on the vines. I am sure that the reason Jesus used this example is once again about fruit and realizing that we must be "doing something for the Kingdom." God doesn't want us to think that we can follow and do nothing.
If Jesus/God is the owner of the vineyard, He is calling us to come work with Him. He is asking us to be a part of His blessing.
We have a choice! God allows us to choose! We can say no, and decide to follow later, which is God's desire. This is like the first son. He just wants us to stay in tune with Him and His desires.
I'm sure God would love it if we just outright chose to follow Him and obeyed Him right away. However, if you are like me, sometimes I just need to focus and listen so I know I am making a right choice. Not always do I grasp the understanding right away. It isn't doubt, it is me seeking and asking. I am thankful He is okay with me doing this. I am thankful He allows me to decide.
You can also decide to be the second son, but...
It is time to be open to what HE wants. It is time to stop thinking we have all the right answers (like the religious leaders) and know everything. Sometimes it means turning from what we think is right and correct. Sometimes the religious teachings we follow are not from Him. If a John the Immerser comes along, we need to LISTEN and pray through for TRUTH to be revealed.
I think the choices today are obvious: be the first son. Always think through what He wants and desires from you. Don't commit, and then say it is too hard. Just take His thoughts and desires and work for the Kingdom. That is when the blessings are reaped.
Love and blessings,
All donations are tax deductible through TBG. Click the picture below to take you to the TBG homepage and from there you can "Give Online.”