Summary: Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel and is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. It is more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God about ourselves and world
The Power of Repentance
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.
This week we continue with The Parables of Jesus as we come to a lesson about repentance.
Jesus has commissioned each of us to carry His name and His message to the world. That world may only be the place where you work and live but still it is a call to go. If each of us just did that much we could change the world with the Gospel of Jesus.
How many of us have said No I won’t go and then changed our minds and got involved and how many of us have said yes I will go and we have yet to even try?
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus isn’t talking about all us going off to Seminary. He is commissioning us to share His message of Salvation to our world wherever we happen to be. That message starts with what Jesus illustrated in today’s parable – REPENTANCE.
It’s a very Biblical word and has the sound of religion to it but it is much more.
Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel and is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. It is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world.
It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments as Jesus taught them. To live a life of grace knowing that grace was purchased for us by Jesus.
If we look at the parable Jesus gave us we can see it clearly explained by both action and inaction.
The first son flat out rejected his father's request to work in the vineyard but after reflection he went of his own accord. He had a change of mind and a change of heart.
But the other son who responded “I will go sir” but who did not go was just giving lip service to his father. He had no intention of fulfilling his father’s request right from the start. He just said what he thought his father wanted to hear.
As Jesus explained the parable to His Disciples He mentioned how John the Baptist had been the one to call Israel to repentance but not all of Israel responded.
Just like the two son’s parable there were those who first pushed John the Baptist’s call aside but then later responded and were baptized. Jesus pointed out that many of those who responded were some of the worst of society but the religious leaders closed their minds and hearts to John the Baptist’s call and like the second son in the parable they just pretended to agree but did nothing.
Last week as we celebrated Pentecost as we looked at how St. Peter called the crowds to repent as they witnessed followers of Jesus speaking in strange languages. Peter explains it for us in Acts 2:22-24
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.