“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?” (Matthew 21:28-31).

This is a smart man who knows how to teach his sons the family business. The man tells his sons to work in the vineyard–not check up on the workers, but instead, be a worker. He wants his sons to get out of the house and get their hands dirty–to prepare the soil, plant the vines and to pull some weeds. Dad knows that, in order for his sons to appreciate the harvest, they are going to have to share in the work. It’s all about the harvest. Without the harvest, there’s no point to the work. The harvest is the crown jewel of our labor; it’s the paycheck at the end of the week. The joy of the harvest is coming, but first there has to be the work.

Of course this parable isn’t about grape vines. It’s about us. God sent His Son into the vineyard of the earth to work in it and to prepare it for the coming harvest. He didn’t supervise us from His office window in heaven. His feet walked the dusty streets of this earth as He preached the good news to the poor. His hands broke bread and poured wine. They touched the crippled and the blind and the leper. His feet and hands bore the stains of the harvest on a cross that belonged to you and me. And He said, “Come, follow me.”

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Our father is saying to us, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.” The joy of the harvest is set before us. Which son will you be?

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