Scripture  Matthew 21:28-32   “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.’  “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.  “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.  “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus is speaking with a group of the chief priests, and they decide to question his authority.  Jesus answers with a group of parables: the parable of the two sons, the parable of the vineyard tenants, and the parable of the wedding guests.  The three parables display different aspects of disobedience to Jesus.  In the parable of the two sons, we see an example of a sincere act of obedience in the first son, even though his words would show otherwise.  The second son mocks his father through his disobedience.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy when I am yelling at my kids to clean their room.  I mean how many times do I have to tell them calmly and quietly.  The first 82 times I asked them to clean their room I was able to hold my composure.  Why at 83 did I suddenly turn into the Hulk?  Smashing Lego creations that took them two weeks to build.  Putting their favorite stuffed animals in the trash.  This is when my kids really show concern for their belongings, once the reality sets in that I can make it all disappear.  It’s like they don’t understand the value of a dollar.    

I know that I did the same thing when I was their age.  And, the reality is, I still struggle with being obedient.   I often struggle with being generous with people who I “don’t deserve it.”  Or I treat people the way I feel have “earned.”  I treat the outcasts with disdain because I don’t care for the way they smell, or how they look.  I play favorites and treat people the way I feel they deserve, even though God’s word clearly states this is sin.  I go to church, pay my tithes, I even volunteer to help in different ministries.  But, these things are all in my comfort zone.  

In Matthew 20:1-16, we learn about God’s amazing generosity with us.  In the parable of the workers, we see that God shares equally with all who will come to him.  Why, then, do I find it so hard to show love to the outcasts.  I let my pride get in the way.  

Life Application  Jesus, I am sorry for being so prideful.  I am sorry for showing favoritism and not showing love to those who are “less desirable.”  Help me to love others the way I love myself.  Help me to let go of my biases and see people with the same love you do.            

-Tyler Galloway