“‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of heaven before you’” Matthew 21:31.
So many of us, who have never shared the gospel with another person, sing the lyrics to “I Love to Tell the Story,” without really thinking about the contrast between our words and actions.
How much like the first son in Jesus’ parable we are who declared to his father that he would work in the vineyard that day but then never did it! To be honest, we might change the lyrics to say, “I hate to tell the story …” or the chorus to “‘Twon’t be my theme in glory ….” (Is “Twon’t” even a word?) But who would want to sing such lyrics, even if they are more accurate?
It’s human tendency to make ourselves sound better than we are, to paint a rosier picture of ourselves, to put up a façade to fool others. But, God is not fooled. The son who did his father’s will, we are told, is the one who was honest at first by declaring that he would not obey but then had a change of heart and did his father’s work. This one is likened to terrible sinners, whose reputations could not hide behind facades, but repented.