Matthew 21:28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. 31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”
Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins. (NLT)
Christianity has a provision for repentance. That’s changing your mind and changing your direction, in case you don’t go in for religious words.
What does that mean? According to Jesus, you can honestly say it’s not for me, and still find it’s for you.
You can change your mind about what’s real and important, and you can start right there, where you are.
If you missed the bus everyone else started on, if you didn’t get the t-shirt or learn the special vocabulary, it’s still for you.
If you aren’t religious and don’t have any church background, you can still go along with the Kingdom of God.
In fact- and this is great- you may wind up far, far ahead of those who made so much noise about what serious, enthusiastic, zealous, committed Christians they were.
You may be the one who, at the end of the day, chose to love God and his son, while those who sang all those songs saying they did….didn’t.
It’s good to know that Jesus doesn’t pay much attention to how things look, or how things sound coming out of the gate. He’s at the finish line, seeing who’s there, no matter how long it took them to start or how slow they were in running the race.
Pharisees. Priests. Tax collectors. Prostitutes. So what?
Who is it who actually, finally, genuinely shows up?