The Two Sons Parable
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work in my vineyard.’ He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will go, sir,’ but he didn’t go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” Matthew 21:28-31
Obedience. Not a nice word. It holds all kinds of connotations, and we will all have experience of obedience and disobedience from growing up, and if we are parent we will see obedience and disobedience in our children.
Yes and No
As God’s children we are called to a life of obedience. But I believe it is true to say that God does not expect perfection from us. In the parable from Matthew 21, the father asks both his sons to go and work in the vineyard. I can just imagine that first son sat under an Olive tree daydreaming, enjoying the warmth of the morning sun. Then here comes his father and tells him, tells him, to go and make himself useful.
“No way Dad, you pay people to go do that stuff, I’m staying right here!” Ever felt like that? God is putting something on your heart and you want to resist it? I remember when I first started to notice the homeless people hanging around near the supermarket. I wanted to ignore that still, small voice.
Think about it
So an hour or so passed, and the first son starts to think to himself: “Hmm, I guess Dad is right, I should be doing something. He doesn’t need me to, but he wants me to get involved in his business. It’s for my good he wants me to go work in the vineyard, not his.”
And with that he goes off to the vineyard and sets to work.
And the second son? Well, that young man said the right things, maybe even thought the right things, but for some reason he didn’t follow through with the actions.
The obedience of the first, even though it was not immediate, was acceptable to the father. Know that every step of obedience you take is seen by your Father in heaven, along with every little step of faith.