A man had two sons

first_img Share 27 Views   no discussions FaithLifestyleLocalNews A man had two sons by: – September 26, 2011 Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share Image via: mark1616.wordpress.comThis parable is open to interpretation in ways we can immediately recognize. A domestic interpretation immediately suggests itself. A parent, for example, asks one child to wash the wares: The child says yes, and hours later the dirty wares are still piled up in the sink. The parent asks a second child and gets a grumbling response: “Me again?! Why am I the only one you always turn to? What you can’t ask somebody else for a change etc?” But the wares get washed. Which child did the parent’s will? Obviously the second.For Jesus (and his listeners) the two sons symbolized two groups of people. The religious leaders of the day – they are the first son; and the prostitutes and sinners, those rejected by religious society, are the second. The leaders had pledged to welcome the Messiah when he came. Yet when John the Baptist announced his coming, they didn’t get rally around him. The tax-collectors and those rejected by religious society didn’t think the matter had anything to do with them, but when John invited them, they lined up right behind him.It must have been galling for the first group to hear that the second group was getting into the Kingdom before them; but you can imagine Jesus saying to them in reply. All you did was talk the talk.The parable can be interpreted in still other ways. You can take the two sons to represent two different kinds of persons. There’s the person who always talks religion, and there is a second type of person who doesn’t seem especially religious or comfortable talking about religion. The person of the second type doesn’t live in Church, but will do the most generous things and think nothing of it. The other type of person will always tell you know what sorts of things the Church should be doing etc, without doing much of anything themselves.Jesus clearly had a preference for doers, not talkers. By their fruits you shall know them, he said elsewhere, not their speech. In the last judgment scene in Matthew 25, people are judged by what they do vis a vis a variety of persons in need. They are not judged by whether or not they thought, for instance, that the poor should be fed. Who thinks that the poor should starve?The ideal, of course, is to be a doer and a talker, someone who preaches and practices. This is an ideal to which all of us only approximate. Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once remarked cynically that the function of a preacher is to preach, implying that it’s foolish to expect him to practice. But Maugham’s cynicism was misplaced. Preaching without complete practice, which is how preaching ordinarily occurs, has its value and its place, and it’s nothing to feel too apologetic about. Every parent, for example, must tell their children what they should avoid doing, even if the parents are not paragons of virtue. Parents still have to say what parents must say.The key thing, of course, is to be persons who keep striving to be the best, and not settle for minor improvement, for becoming just a little better. Jesus did not say to us: be ye therefore slightly improved. He said be ye therefore perfect, just as your heavenly father is perfect.By: Father Henry Charles Ph.Dlast_img

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