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Summary: JESUS IN HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE POWER OF PARABLES; TO BOTH TRANSFORM MENS LIVES FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT, AND ALSO TO SET ADVERSARIES OF THE CHURCH, TO CONTEMPLATE THE ERRORS IN THEIR OWN THINKING; USES A PARABLE HERE TO TEACH, TO HUMILIATE, AND INSPIRE T

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

MATT. 21:28-32

JESUS IN HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE POWER OF PARABLES; TO BOTH TRANSFORM MENS LIVES FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT, AND ALSO TO SET ADVERSARIES OF THE CHURCH, TO CONTEMPLATE THE ERRORS IN THEIR OWN THINKING; USES A PARABLE HERE TO TEACH, TO HUMILIATE, AND INSPIRE THOSE LISTENING, ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. PARABLES AS WE KNOW ARE WORLDLY STORIES WITH DIVINE MEANINGS, USED TO REVEAL THE TRUE NATURE OF KINGDOM LIVING HERE IN THIS WORLD.

JESUS, IN ALL HIS DIVINE WISDOM, UNDERSTOOD THAT WORDS ARE SOMETIMES LOST TO SOME MEN; WHEN WORDS ARE UNABLE TO PENETRATE COLD AND HARD HEARTS AND MORE WAS NEEDED, HE USED PARABLES.

THE DIVINE MEANING WE RECEIVE FROM THIS PARABLE IS CRYSTAL CLEAR. ISRAEL AND ITS SPIRITUAL LEADERS ARE THE ONES JESUS IS REFERING TO. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD WHO SAID THEY WOULD OBEY GOD, AND THESE ARE THE ONES WHO TURN RIGHT AROUND AND DISOBEY GOD. SO HE CHALLENGES THEIR ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THEM WITH A PARABLE…AS HE IS CHALLENGING US TODAY, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

JESUS IS ABOUT TO ENTER JERUSALEM. HE IS ON HIS WAY TO FULFIL ALL THAT THE PROPHETS HAD SPOKEN OF HIM. HE’S ON HIS WAY TO THE CROSS. HE HAS REVEALED TO THE PEOPLE, THROUGH SYMBOLIC ACTION, THAT HE IS THE ONE PROPHESIED, BY ENTERING THE CITY ON A DONKEY AND NOT A STALLION (ZECH. 9:9). HE HAS CLEANSED THE TEMPLE OF THE MONEY CHANGERS; TO EXPRESS HIS ANGER OF THEM DESECRATING GOD’S HOLY TEMPLE, OF USING THE CHURCH FOR THEIR OWN GAIN (MATT. 21:12-13). JESUS HAS GIVEN HIS DISCIPLES A LESSON ON FAITH THROUGH THE CURSING OF A FIG TREE, WHICH SYMBOLICLY REPRESENTS ISRAEL, FOR NOT PRODUCING FRUIT, WHEN THIS IS WHY THE CHURCH WAS CALLED IN THE FIRST PLACE (MATT. 21:18-22). NOW, HE IS IN THE TEMPLE TEACHING, AND IS APPROACHED BY THE PHARASIES, BY THE LEADERS OF THE CHURCH, WHO CHALLENGES JESUS’ AUTHORITY FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE. NEVER KNOWING THEY ARE CHALLENGING THE AUTHORITY OF GOD HIMSELF. SO, TO CONFOUND THE WISE; TO HUMILIATE THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO PRESENT THEMSELVES GREATER THAN HIS CHURCH; EVEN, TO GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE WHAT GOD REALLY EXPECTS OF THE CHURCH AND TO REPENT; HE GIVES THE PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS.

WE ALL NEED TO HEAR WHAT JESUS IS SAYING IN THIS PARABLE TODAY. THE CALL IS FOR US, THE CHURCH, HIS CHILDREN, TO GO TO WORK. TO GO INTO THE VINEYARD AS THE FATHER HAS COMMANDED, AND WORK UNTIL WE ALL ARE CALLED FROM LABOR TO REWARD. WE ALL ARE EITHER ONE OR THE OTHER OF THE SONS—THE ONE THAT SAYS OUT RIGHT, “NO I WONT’T GO, AND THEN TURN AND GOES,” OR THE OTHER ONE, THAT SAYS “YES MASTER, I’LL GO, AND THEN TURN AND REFUSE TO GO.” THE QUESTION WAS ASKED BY JESUS, THERE IN THE SCRIPTURE—“WHICH,” HE ASKED, “WAS THE OBEDIENT SON?” THE QUESTION TODAY IS, WHICH SON ARE YOU? JESUS HAS CALLED FOR US TO GO…THOSE OF US WHO ARE HERE…JESUS HAS CALLED FOR US TO GIVE…JESUS HAS CALLED FOR US TO OBEY—JESUS HAS EVEN CALLED US TO BE FRUITFUL…BUT DO WE OBEY? WHEN YOU SAID YES TO JESUS, DID YOU MEAN IT? DID YOU BECOME A PART OF HIS CHURCH BECAUSE HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU—BECAUSE HE TOOK YOUR SINS AND DIED ON A TREE FOR YOU—BECAUSE YOU BELIEVED HE IS THE SON OF GOD AND IS COMING BACK ONE DAY—OR DID YOU JOIN BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT JOINING CHURCH WAS THE FASHIONABLE THING TO DO? DID YOU TRULY MEAN “YES” WHEN YOU ACCEPTED CHRIST? WELL IF YOU CAN’T DECIDE—I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE TODAY, IT’S BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.


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