Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Matthew 21:28-32 Religiousness does not equal Faith

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
"What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.'
He said in reply, 'I will not, '
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, 'Yes, sir, 'but did not go.
Which of the two did his father's will?"
They answered, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him."

In this passage we are reminded that our religiousness does not equal faith. If we belong to an ecclesiastical community and participate in it every day, it does not bring us any closer to salvation if we do not have faith. Faith should be seen as a verb, something that is active. So often we volunteer at our church and slowly forget why we are doing it. We go to church out of routine, habit, or social pressure. This is why Jesus is so hard on the religious. He reminds us that faith is something that is active, done daily, and requires constant attention. If we don't have faith, how can we make the kingdom of God a reality? 

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