Reading: Matthew 21: 28-32
Verse 28: Son, go and work today in the vineyard.
The priests and elders have just tried to question Jesus about His authority. In today’s parable Jesus continues the conversation with them. One son is asked by his father, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard”. The first son refuses but later goes and works. The second son hears the same request, says he will go, but does not go and work in the vineyard.
In Luke 10, Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”. Paired with our commission to go forth to make disciples of all nations, we have much to wrestle with in today’s parable. Which son are we?
Each Sunday we gather in our churches to lift our voices in praise to God and to remind ourselves of how we are to live in the world as followers of Jesus. We hear the Word proclaimed and the message brings application of the Word. We offer up prayers of thanksgiving and we bring our requests as well, believing God to be loving and caring and merciful. At the end of the service we receive a blessing or benediction that sends us out into the world to share Jesus. We head out the doors to be His light and love in the world.
Jesus asks the priests and elders, “Which of the two sons did what his father wanted”? We would answer as they did: “The first”. The one who actually went out and worked in the vineyard. It is important that he went out and worked in the vineyard because the harvest is indeed plentiful.
As Christians it is much easier to sing the songs, to pray the prayers, and to receive the message on Sunday morning than it is to go out into the world and to love our neighbors or to welcome the stranger. It is difficult to love all people, to always offer grace and forgiveness, to be a humble servant. Yet this is what the Lord of the harvest did every day. The Father asks each of us to go to the vineyard, to labor today for the kingdom. In reality, which son will you be today?