Obey all God’s commands – Deuteronomy 5:32
The Parable of the Two Sons
Authority. The word alone evokes the image of powerful or influential people and positions, such as judges, law enforcement, presidents, teachers, and parents. People recognized that Jesus “taught with real authority – quite unlike their teachers of religious law” (Matthew 7:29). These same “teachers of religious law” were constantly seeking Jesus to prove where his authority came from. “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” (Matthew 21:23). Until now, they had been in charge, but Jesus’ personal, relational teachings were undermining their rigid rules.
The Obvious. Obedience is a close relative to authority. A person with authority, real or perceived, requires or demands obedience. In the parable of the two sons, Jesus illustrates two distinct responses to authority. One son resists at first, but then changes his mind and obeys. The other says, “Yes, sir, I will,” but later disobeys. The same people who questioned Jesus’ authority now find themselves questioned: “Which of the two obeyed his father?” They answered quickly: “The first one, of course.” Of course, the answer was obvious.
To obey or disobey is a choice. Although the religious leaders answered the question correctly, Jesus showed them they were wrong in their practice.
“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.”
The religious leaders and the common people both had evidence of Jesus’ authority; how they responded to it (their choice) made the difference. If you have denied God’s authority, you can still change your mind like the first son; it’s not too late.
We have evidence of Jesus’ authority today. How do you choose to respond?
Let’s be real. What lessons have you learned, personally about blessings of obedience and consequences of disobedience? Obedience is not easy to teach, or learn, but it is a lesson we must learn if we want to honor God.
Who requires your obedience? Let’s pray and ask God to help us walk in obedience to those in authority in our lives.