Advent: Week 3: Tuesday: Year B:
1st Reading: Zephaniah 3: 1-2. 9-13: Messianic salvation is promised to all the poor in spirit.
Gospel: Mt. 21: 28-32: John came, but it was the sinners who believed in him.
What does it take to enter God’s kingdom? Not only profession and righteousness, but also repentance and belief. In this passage Jesus wanted to convey a critical message to the Jewish leaders by saying a parable of two sons and asking a question, “What do you think?” that would determine their eternal destiny. Now we analyse the parable of two sons:
1. The Parable is simple and clear. It concerns a man had two sons. Notes several facts.
a. Commands first son to go and work in his vineyard is an emphatic imperative. There is no other alternative choice to excuse.
i. He says “I will not.”
ii. He later changes his mind and goes to work.
b. Commands second son.
i. He says, “I will, sir.”
ii. He never goes to work.
c. The first son did what his father wanted.
2. Jesus gave the point of the parable: Sinners enter the kingdom before religionists (the self-righteous and those who make a false profession).
i. Jesus identified the man and the two sons in the parables.
ii. Jesus identified the vineyard and work that was to be done. The vineyard is the kingdom of God and the work is “entering the kingdom of God.”(Mt 19: 23-24).
iii. Jesus clearly stressed the point of the parable. “I tell you the truth.” “Sinners, the tax collectors and prostitutes entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
iv. Jesus shocked his audience. He declared that people’s idea of religion is wrong.
3. The reason: Religionists do not believe John-that Jesus is the Son of God.
a. Yet John was righteousness
b. Sinners believed John
c. The religionists’ problem: See changed lives but still do not repent and believe.
Thought: The great tragedy of religionists is this: they stand aloof. They reject the counsel of God. They do not go and work in His vineyard.