A TALE OF TWO TEENAGERS
Lord, I am Your servant—speak to me now.
Read Matthew 21:28–32
The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you do in service to God?
Jesus has just arrived in Jerusalem, for his final week, and he is already arguing with the religious leaders (21–27). He tells them a parable. Let’s call it the parable of the two teenagers.
A father tells his sons there is work to do. Today. The first says, approximately, “Nah, I’m busy—on the Internet and stuff.” Later Dad sees him fixing the photocopier and printing leaflets for Sunday’s service. The second says, “Sure, no problem.” But he spends all day on the Internet, never quite getting around to helping out. The second son is easier to talk to, but the first one does the work that needs doing.
It is tempting to apply this parable to other people, especially if you have two teenage sons. But what if it is about us, ourselves? Do we hear this parable as good news (an encouragement) or as a challenge? Are we saying the right thing—“Yes, I will serve you, Lord!”—but not actually doing it? Or is there encouragement to recognize that sometimes we are slow to say we will serve God, but then much of what we do is service anyway?
Most of us have things we have said we will do that we have not yet done. Pick one thing you have said you will do for God, and make a note of it.
Read what you wrote and ask God to help you see how to do it.
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