“And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. … Which of the two did the will of his father?” Matthew 21:28-32.
Jesus begins this parable by saying that a man had two sons. So He is speaking of those within the church who claim God as their Father.
Many are like the second son who say he will work in his father’s vineyard but who don’t go. They’re excited to find a group of good and loving people at the church who give them a sense of belonging or sometimes material things, but their service and connection with the body rarely extends beyond attendance at Sunday morning service.
Fewer are those who are like the first son. He says ‘no’ to the work but then changes his mind and goes. Jesus points out known sinners in His listeners’ culture who are still God’s people but who change their minds and their ways because of belief.
This is the true definition of repentance. God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked but delights when they turn from their ways and live. It is only through belief that that is possible, and that’s why the gospel is truly good news: it’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you’re going.
Are you living repentance?
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