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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Matthew 21 : 28-46

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”’ -Matthew 21:43 [NIV]

When the world recognizes and applauds people for their piety, Jesus looks deep into people’s hearts and not at their performance! Most of His listeners were people puffed up with pride about their religious upbringing and activities, but Jesus denied these orthodox people entry into heaven. It points to just one fact- piety and performance will not take one to heaven! Both the parables in our reading today gives emphasis on obedience to the will of God.

Let us learn what the parables have to say to us:

Obedience that leads to doing God’s Will –In vs 28-31, we read about 2 sons and their responses to their father’s call. One said “No” but later obeyed and the other agreed to do the task yet disobeyed. More than the task that had to be done, what is important is the one who ultimately did the father‘s will. Jesus himself set us an example by his life of obedience to his earthly parents and by his suffering, his obedience to his Heavenly Father—actually a fulfillment of God’s will on earth.

Bearing the Right Fruit that pleases God – In Vs.33-41 we read about the parable of the tenants by which Jesus explains how the God’s Kingdom (represented by the vineyard) will be given to those who bear the fruits of it. The nation had failed in what God desired for them when He gave them the covenant and spoken thus: ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ (Exodus 19:5,6). Thus today the church has the responsibility of bearing the right fruit for God’s Kingdom according to God’s plan for this time period.

Coming to the individual, one has to make the decision of accepting or rejecting the Son whom God sent. The chief Cornerstone refers to Christ Himself- if one’s falling on the Stone leads him/her to be broken with repentance, then he/she will be saved; otherwise the one on whom the stone falls, it will crush to powder which points to the final judgment and rejection. [Refer NKJV Study Bible]

Today when Jesus looks into our lives, are we maintaining an outward appearance of religion but not letting Him and His power change us? (2 Timothy 3:5) If so, this will surely result in us facing the wrath of God.  But when we remain in Him our lives will bear much with fruit (John 15:5) bringing glory to our Father in heaven and proving to the world that we are truly His disciples (John 15:8).

Every time we respond to God’s call in our lives i)we are partnering in the fulfillment of the divine plan of God  ii) we are declaring our love and loyalty to Him by our obedience. Whatever we do needs to be done with this understanding. May God see us as willing workers in His kingdom prepared and ready to do the Father’s will, so that when Christ the Bridegroom comes, we will receive Him and go with Him to the wedding feast. So may we align our lives to His requirements that we may not be left behind at His coming.

Quote for the day: “Your life as a Christian should make non-believers question their disbelief in God.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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