Whether of them twain [the two] did the will of his father? – Matthew 21:31.
Hear a parable from Jesus: “A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ And he answered and said: ‘I will not.’ But afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said: ‘I go, sir,’ and he went not.” (Matthew 21:29-30). Now the Lord asked: “Whether of them twain [the two] did the will of his father?” Evidently and obviously the first.
What am I to learn from this? Let me look at myself! Am I a yes-sayer and a no-doer (because of my wicked flesh)? James, in the first chapter of his Epistle, addressed me when he said: “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (v. 22). Do I say “Yes” when I hear God’s Word, but I do not follow and practice that Word of God in my daily life? OR was I a no-sayer in the past, but now, by God’s grace and mercy alone working through His Word, I am both a yes-sayer and a yes-doer? Jesus, in Luke 11, declared: “Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it [believe and follow God’s Word]” (v. 28).
Oh, how often I have failed to be a yes-sayer and a yes-doer. I must never stop confessing my many failures, repenting of them, expressing sorrow and shame because of them, and then continue, each day, to believe, trust in, and take refuge in the wonderful, comforting Gospel of God’s mercy and compassion toward me and all other sinners through the substitutionary, complete obedience of the Law of God by Christ Jesus in my stead and in the stead of all sinners, bringing about the priceless blessing of God declaring me and the whole world “righteous” (Romans 5:19b) in His sight because of the “one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:5-6a).
The Prophet Jeremiah confessed for himself and for his fellow believers when he testified in Lamentations 3: “It is of the Lord’s mercies [in and through the Messiah] that we are not consumed [by the Lord’s just wrath over our sins], because His compassions fail not; they are new every morning” (vv. 22-23).
PRAYER – Lord God, dear Heavenly Father, who at all times, by Thy Holy Spirit working through Thy Word, calls me again and again to true repentance and invites me to continue to believe the Gospel of grace and mercy in Christ Jesus, grant me the needed and continued help and strength from Thee to truly say “Yes!” and also to do accordingly. Keep me Thy dear child for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
O my Savior, help afford;
by Thy Spirit and Thy Word!
When my wayward heart would stray,
keep me in the narrow way;
grace in time of need supply,
while I live and when I die
(TLH, 343, 5).