Lenten Bible Study – Day 38

Friday, April 2, 2021 – Day 38
 
Matthew 21:28-32
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father[e] went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
 
It is important for us to understand that right before this in the gospel of Matthew the temple chief priests and elders are questioning Jesus authority. At this point in time Jesus has done a few years of ministry and has entered Jerusalem. Recently, he cleared out the temple of money changers and has been healing people throughout Israel. Jesus is no longer out in the country of Galilee, he is in the city of Jerusalem with the temple of God and all the high up Pharisees.
 
The people in Israel had been expecting the messiah. The question was never will there be a messiah, the question was “is Jesus the messiah”? We often see (not always) in the gospel of Mathew that the people with established power did not want to believe he was the messiah, while the poor and outcasts did believe. The rich and powerful believed they had a lot to lose, they were not willing to accept Jesus. Even though they saw Jesus performing miracles and teaching in amazing ways they were not willing to give up what they believe. 
 
For centuries people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was regarded as the greatest thinker of all time, and surely he would not be wrong. Anyone, of course, could have taken two objects, one heavy and one light, and dropped them from a great height to see whether or not the heavier object landed first. But no one did until nearly 2,000 years after Aristotle’s death. In 1589 Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then he went to the top and pushed off a ten- pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same instant. The power of belief was so strong, however, that the professors denied their eyesight. They continued to say Aristotle was right. 
 
What we already believe is deeply ingrained in every piece of our thought. To give up something we have believed for so long is very difficult. Many times, we can read the Bible and be critical of the Pharisees, and rightfully so. However, are we so sure that we would have given up our station in life to follow Jesus? Would we be willing to change our minds and change what we would believe? Are we willing to change our lives today in response to Jesus? 
 
Prayer:
Lord, open my heart and mind to follow you in my life. Do not let me be closed off by what I already believe, and let me recognize you as the living word.