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The Journal

You can’t be neutral with Jesus

Dear Friends
It seems that as Jesus nears Jerusalem to die on the Cross His parables become more pointed at the hardness of hearts of the religious leaders. In Matthew 21:28-46 Jesus teaches us 2 parables both of which focus on His mission. In the first parable about 2 sons both sons are asked to work in the field. The first son agrees but doesn’t go and the second son said no but later changed his mind and obeyed. Jesus applies this and says that the sinners and tax collectors and prostitutes are like the second son. They initially resist God but many have changed their mind & repented and are following God. This is in contrast to people like the first son which refers to Jews and especially the religious leaders. They said they would obey God but didn’t. Jesus is looking for people who will by faith listen to Him and obey him. In the second parable about tenants in a vineyard Jesus speaks about how he provided everything for the tenants. He was generous in His provision. In 21:34 the owner of the vineyard sent His servants to collect the harvest but the tenants beat one, killed another and stoned a third. He decided to send His son thinking they will respect him but they killed him. In 21:45 the chief priests and the pharisees knew that the parable was directed at them. Jesus teaches them that He is the cornerstone and that what people do with him is critical. People can either believe and accept or not believe and reject. You can’t be neutral with Jesus. In 21:43-44 Jesus raises the prospect of judgement and that those who reject Him will be crushed. God is generous to us and this is most fully seen in sending Jesus. God has been generous and provided everything we need for salvation - Jesus. We have no excuse because Jesus has come to earth and died on the cross for our sins. Other parables such as John 15 and the vine and the branches speak of the fact that God provides us with the power and resources to be fruitful. We have no excuse. May our faith lead us to be obedient and fruitful in knowing and serving Jesus. In the passage at 5pm we look at John 4:43-54 and Jesus comments that a prophet is not honoured in his own country. Jesus goes to Cana in Galilee and the people welcomed him. John is making the point that outsiders ie people from Galilee welcome Jesus whereas those from Jerusalem don’t. The royal official teaches us what true faith is :- v50 the man took Jesus at his word and departed. He trusted Jesus’ Word before he saw the results. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara