“I will not,” he answered… Matthew 21:29 (NIV)
What an obnoxious son! His father asked him to go work in his vineyard, and he said to his face, “I will not.” There’s hostility, rebellion, and defiance! “You’re not going to tell me what to do.”
The old ladies would be saying, “Oh, what a shame! What a pity he isn’t like his brother.” Then Jesus tells us about a remarkable change: “Later he changed his mind and went” (21:29).
What the two sons actually did shows what they thought of their father. The son who said “Yes sir,” but then did not go, showed that he did not care much for his father. The father’s word didn’t carry weight in his life. He was happy to do what the father said when it was convenient.
But if something more interesting came along, then he wanted to keep his options open.
The other son said, “I will not,” but later he went into the vineyard. He couldn’t be at peace while he was in conflict with his father. When he thought about the way he had responded to his father, he was disturbed.
Choosing repentance shows what you think of God. It shows that you think of him so highly that you will freely choose to obey him, even though your first instinct was to refuse.
You show what you think of Jesus by the way you respond to his commands: “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). If you love him, your commandment keeping will not be from guilt but from gratitude. It will not be an obligation. It will be worship.
What does your obedience tell you about your love for Jesus?