Sermon- Being Well Or Doing Well?, Matthew 21:31 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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Being Well Or Doing Well?

Which of the two did what the father wanted?
Matthew 21:28-32

Sermon Topic Obedience

Sermon Week Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 21:31


Rumor had it that a great prophet had risen up among a people who lived in a place far-removed from the civilized world. An American TV News team was sent out to do a story on this person. When they reached their destination, they were greeted by a disciple of the great prophet. "Tell the rest of the world," said one of the TV reporters, "what miracle has your Master worked lately?" To which the disciple replied, "Well, there are miracles and then there are miracles. In your land it is regarded as a miracle if God does someone's will. In our land it is regarded as a miracle if someone does the Will of God."1

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus tells a simple little story of how two brothers responded to their father's request to work for him in his vineyard. One son responded positively, saying, "I am on the way sir." But he never went out to the vineyard. The other responded negatively, saying, "No, I will not." But later he changed his attitude and he did go out to do his father's work. "Which of the two did what the father wanted?" Jesus asks the Chief Priests and the Elders of the Temple. They answer correctly, of course, "The second."

Now Jesus doesn't put on this little quiz to see how smart His listeners are. He is making a crucial point with them about their relationship with God. It is not what you say, not what you promise, not your good intentions that matter most. Far better to move from bad intentions to positive action than to remain locked into your good intentions and no actions.

This is a lesson in repentance. You stumble, you fall, you refuse, you hedge, you shift, you fail, but God your Father is always there, ready to redeem your life situation, if only you will repent. Repentance takes you beyond good intentions. Repentance is the means of your actually becoming the person God wants you to be. No need to sit there turning yourself over the coals and blaming yourself, over-and-over-again, [...]

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