Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 28, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 21:28-32 (NKJV)
21:28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to Him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.”
From the beginning of His Ministry, our Lord Jesus Christ called sinners to repentance. Jesus emphasizes our need for repentance in the parable of the two sons. This parable shows the value our Lord places on repentance over and against the tendency to justify yourself.
The truth is that no one can justify himself. Yet, many who heard our Lord’s message believed they could obey the Laws of Moses, as well as rules of their own traditions, in order to earn righteousness. However, Jesus makes it clear that the tax collectors and harlots would enter the Kingdom before the others. Not because tax collectors and harlots are righteous; far from it! They enter the Kingdom because they are moved to repentance.
These sinners know they cannot work in the master’s garden on their own strength. They know they had once refused the Master. But, by grace, they are called to repentance and go into the vineyard for the work of the Lord. In this we recognize our own sin and repent, trusting in Christ alone for righteousness.
Prayer: Lord of All Power and Might, Who art the Author and Giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of Thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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