Why Actions Speak Louder Than Words – Matthew 21:23-46

Reflection from my reading in Matthew 21:23-46 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what predictions were made, the team that wins will be the Champion. Because actions trump words!

Two Types of People

Jesus tells a powerful story to the religious leaders of the day. Here’s my summary: A man told both of his sons to work in the vineyard. First, the older son said ‘no I won’t go’, but later changed his mind and went. Second, the younger son said, ‘Yes sir, I will’. But he didn’t go. Then Jesus asked them,

“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 God before you.” Matthew 21:31

Prostitutes before Pharisees? 

Jesus told the religious leaders that the least respected people who humble themselves and choose to obey God would get into the Kingdom before the most respected who do not obey God.

“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 when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.” Matthew 21:32

Though the religious leaders appeared to be following God, they actually refused to repent and respond to John the Baptist’s or Jesus’ teaching. Many of the prostitutes and tax collectors on the other hand changed their minds and believed in Jesus! 

Humble obedience is greater than prideful promises. 

From this passage we can learn that we should be careful that we are ACTUALLY responding to what God is commanding us instead of mearly talking about what we are going to do.

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