23 When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him as he was teaching. They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus replied, “I have a question for you. If you tell me the answer, I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. 25 Where did John get his authority to baptize? Did he get it from heaven or from humans?” They argued among themselves, “If we say ‘from heaven,’ he’ll say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’26 But we can’t say ‘from humans’ because we’re afraid of the crowd, since everyone thinks John was a prophet.” 27 Then they replied, “We don’t know.” Jesus also said to them, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’
29 “‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went. 30 “The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ But he didn’t go
31 “Which one of these two did his father’s will?”
They said, “The first one.”
Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God’s kingdom ahead of you.32 For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn’t believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn’t change your hearts and lives and you didn’t believe him. (Matthew 21:23-32, CEB)
Which son actually did what the father asked?
Actually neither. The first flat out told the father no and then felt guilty and changed his mind and went. That is not following the will of the father. Even though this pretty much match my journey to being a pastor and almost every other pastor’s journey I know. We all heard God say go to seminary, and we said no, or went somewhere else. But God came again and again, so it was not the first time we said yes, but sometime later when God asked again. So did God ask the first son to go again?
And the second son lied to the father and said, yeah I’ll go and just did what he wanted which was not doing what the father wanted.
God wants us to go where God sends us, not because it is our choice, but because we want to do what God has called us to do. And those who the religious leaders think will be the last to enter heaven will be there first because they live their lives in the truth of being real, and not fake before others.
That is what God wants. For us to be real.
Be real. Live for God.