Summary: PENTECOST 19(A)- Whose son are you like -- like the one son with empty words or like the son with repentance?

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WHICH SON ARE YOU LIKE? - October 10, 2004 - Pentecost 19

MATTHEW 21:28-32

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, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For 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.

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Dearest Fellow Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

Actions speak louder than words. We have heard that saying very often in our lives. There is lots of truth in that saying in today’s society. People today don’t tend to take time to listen to what a person might say. They don’t take time to listen to what God’s word might say to them. They look at the actions, the lives of people around them. Today, today’s people let the lives and actions of people around them preach God’s message, rather than always hearing first the Law and the Gospel. This is what Jesus is talking about today. Our text describes the fact that the actions of these sons spoke louder than their words. The actions of the scribes and Pharisees spoke louder than these words. That is not just some saying that man made up. We read in PROVERBS 20:11,12 these words: “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right Ears that hear and eyes that see--the LORD has made them both”. Today you and I gather together as children of God. And we come before him, and we ask the Lord to give us eyes that see his glory -- eyes that listen to his wisdom. Then we too will show by our actions the love of Christ that is in our hearts. We ask ourselves the question as Jesus talks of this parable WHICH SON ARE YOU LIKE? First of all are you like the I. son with empty words, or like II. the son with repentance?


Our text takes place during that last week of Jesus life. It is Tuesday of Holy Week. It is a couple of days after he has come into Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday when people called him the Son of David, and blessed is his name. Because of all that praise the leaders of the day, the scribes and Pharisees and the Sadducees, were questioning Jesus authority to come into the temple as he did. Jesus talked and taught with authority. They wondered who is this Jesus, what is his authority? These words of Jesus are spoken on this Tuesday of Holy Week. And they are addressed to these religious leaders of the day. Jesus is going to let them come to some important conclusions.

Our text starts with the question--What do you think? You can picture Jesus along with the scribes, the Pharisees, the leaders of the church standing together in the temple. The leaders put Jesus to the test asking, “What gives you the right to come in here? What gives you the right to tell us God’s word?” Jesus replies, “Well what do you think?” Jesus is going to give them the chance to form their own opinion and make their own judgment. But of course, Jesus is going to give them a little bit of direction isn’t he? Jesus begins, there was a man who had two sons. Since there are two sons of course there is going to be a difference between them. The man went to the first son and said “Son go and work today in the vineyard”. There was work to be done. He wasn’t going to go out and hire people for laborers he was going to ask his sons to do that work in the vineyard. The father goes to the first son, then he goes to the second son. Then the father went to the second son and said the same thing. There is work to do in my vineyard.

We are going to look at the second son’s answer first. He answered, `I will, sir,’ but he did not go I will go”. We are simply told he did not go. The second son had said I will go. He was going to do the work but then he did not do it. Got busy, didn’t want to do it, found something else to do, we aren’t told what happened to change his. His intentions were there, his words were there, but his actions were not there. Now of course it all started with that question to these leaders. Jesus had said: what do you think?

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