Thought for The Day – Thursday 7th April


The Parable of the Two Sons

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons.  He went to the first and said “Son, go and work 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 did not go.  “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 heaven ahead of you. For John came 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.”

Matthew 21: 28-32

Hypocrisy (noun) – the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

At some point in our lives, I reckon the vast majority of us will have been guilty of hypocrisy on one level or another.  I know I certainly have and it is not something I’m in the least bid proud of.  Whilst reading this parable, the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do.” kept popping into my head.  It is a phrase that is very applicable to the Pharisees and other religious leaders at whom the parable is aimed.  They are the second son who says he will do his father’s bidding but ultimately doesn’t. Their hypocrisy is all too easy to see. All along they have questioned Jesus’ authority and have placed themselves as paragons of virtue and guardians of the law which was often of more importance to them than their spirituality. A showdown was inevitable.  In order to rebuke them, Jesus addressed them in three parables.  This Parable of the Two Sons, The Parable of the Tenants and The Parable of the Wedding Feast.  Each illustrates the Pharisees rejection of Jesus and each pronounces judgement on Israel for the rejection of their long promised Messiah.  The first son represents those who initially rejected the words of John the Baptist but who later showed repentance and became followers of Jesus. The vineyard of course represents God’s Kingdom and those who choose to work in it are charged with nurturing it and ensuring its growth.

Prayer: Lord, I am your servant and your child.  Help me to reside in your love within the vineyard.  Help me see my needs and confess them to you.  Help me to be quick to take a long look at myself when I am prone to judge others.  Thank you that you show me wild and abundant grace.  It will not cease. It will never end. It will never let me go.  Guide me along the path of life as I continue to follow the teachings of your son Jesus Christ.  Help me to be receptive to them so that I will not fail.  May I continue to work in the vineyard and in doing so help to grow your kingdom.  Amen

Action: Think before you speak. Stop and think before you act. Are you in full possession of all the information/facts you need to allow you to behave fairly and not hypocritically?

This Thought was written by Stuart Mitchell