Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Reflections for Youth - Words and Actions (Matthew 21:23-32)

For this week's reflections let's jump back into the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus tells another parable - big surprise - right? That Jesus - always trying to teach us something. 

Read Matthew 21: 23-32

At the beginning of this scripture passage, those pesky Pharisees are back.  Jesus is in Jerusalem and teaching at the temple. The Pharisees, the Jewish leaders, have come to hear Jesus teach as well.  They asked him why they should trust what Jesus says to them and what he teaches the people. They are questioning his authority. Again. 

Jesus doesn’t answer their question – and has a few questions for them before he tells them a story about a farmer who had two children.

The farmer tells both sons, "Go work in the field." One says, "Of course. I will do so right away" but then does not do any work.

The other son says, "I will not go work in the field" but then changes his mind and actually does go  and works in the field.

Both of the sons say one thing but do the other thing. 

So what's Jesus up to by telling this story to the Pharisees?

 I’ve been thinking that Jesus is a person that does what he says he is going to do, so maybe he tells this story to let the Pharisees know that they can trust what he teaches because he is a person who practices what he preaches.

Maybe he also tells the story to let the Pharisees know that they need to do more than just talk, that their actions are just, if not more, important than their words.

We learn in the Bible that not only does Jesus use words to teach about God, but his actions teach about God, too, because his actions match his words.

Jesus is the person who says, "I will go out and do work in the field" and then goes and works in the field.  In fact, a lot of times, Jesus’ actions help make his words make more sense.

Things to think about: 

Do your actions reflect the kind of person you are? 
Who can you think of that is a person that exemplifies what Jesus is trying to teach?
Who can you think of that doesn't? 

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