By Colleen Donahue

Tension had been mounting for the Jewish leaders watching Jesus. They had watched Him enter Jerusalem to the praises of the people. They saw Him teach to crowds they never had. They marveled that He had healed the sick and raised the dead. He created change and commotion wherever He went as He challenged the tight rules and regulations that had governed the Jewish people. They hated seeing the people flock to Him instead of them. He was usurping their authority and they were jealous. What happens when we reject God's authority that He gave to His Son Jesus? The first part of our study deals with this issue.

Then Jesus tells a simple story of two sons that was meant to help the Jewish leaders to sort out which side of the divide they were on. As with all the Lord's parables this one is for our benefit as well. Some of us show reluctance towards God but follow him any ways, while others of us talk like we are on God's side but our actions don't match our talk. So how can we know where we stand in aligning our life with God? In the second half of our study we should be able to answer the question for ourselves.......


Are We Doing God's Will?

Studies continued from Matthew 21: 23-32


What happens when we reject God's authority that He gave His Son Jesus?

Day 1- Well, the first thing is that we presume we can question God and demand Him to answer us.
Matthew 21:23 / Luke 20:1-2 / John 8:53 /

Day 2- Then we demand to be shown signs.
Matthew 4:3

Day 3- We begin to think and ask incriminating questions to ourselves -- causing malice in our heart.
Luke 5:21

Day 4- We become the judge and jury on whether Christ's teaching and actions are true and proclaim our own verdict without examining the evidence.
John 5:18

Day 5- We defame the Son of God and make claims against Him.
Matthew 9:11 / Matthew 11:19 / Matthew 26:65-67 / Mark 3:21 / John 7:20 / John 9:16 / John 19:12

Day 6- Sometimes we link together with others to express our discontent against God.
Mark 15:31-32

Day 7- Then we take hurtful action and cloak it as righteous.
Matthew 27:39 / John 10:33

Day 8- In tearing down God's authority we set ourselves up. Therefore we have no trouble taunting God and being disrespectful.
Matthew 27:40 / Luke 23:35-37, 39

The Jewish leaders had rejected Christ's authority which His Father had given Him. With their decision to reject Christ they had set a great deal in motion. Besides what is already mentioned, there is......

....even more that continues to happen when Jesus Christ is rejected as the Son of God.

Day 9- We take offense at Him.
Matthew 16:1-3

Day 10- We want Him to leave.
Matthew 8:34 / Luke 4: 28-29

Day 11- We'll join with others that share our persuasion.
Luke 23:18

Day 12- We make a decision NOT to receive Him even though He wants to come to us.
John 1:11

Day 13- We take on God's judgment by our own incriminating words and actions -- but NOT because God wants to judge us!
2 Chronicles 36:16 / Isaiah 5:24 / John 12: 48

Day 14- We become fools despising the wisdom and discipline of God.
Psalm 50:16-17 / Proverbs 1:7 / Jeremiah 6:10 / Zechariah 7:12

Day 15 - The Jewish leaders, jealous of the Lord's popularity, had demanded to know by what authority He taught. They weren't looking for truth. They were looking for words they could use against Jesus. Christ's answer caught them in their own evil devices and led them to voice a very lame answer.
Matthew 21: 24-27

Day 16- Although Jesus is speaking directly to the Jewish leaders, He is speaking as well to us. He involves all of us by inviting us to give our opinion.
Matthew 21: 28a, 30a

Jesus now leads them (the Jewish leaders -- chosen sons of God) to pass a verdict on their own conduct by telling two simple stories. In this study we'll concentrate on the first one. Start by reading it all the way through.
Matthew 21: 28-32

In this parable the Father is God and the vineyard is the sphere in which we serve Him. Who does God ask to go to work for Him?
Matthew 21: 28b

Day 17- God asks only His sons to go to work for Him. Who are His sons? As you look up these verses write down how we qualify to be a son of God and what privileges we enjoy.
John 1:12 / Romans 8:14 / Galatians 4:4-7

Consider whether you are God's Son or daughter.

The Jews were God's chosen sons by their birth. Gentiles became God's sons by adoption -- all of us chosen and loved. A son belongs to God and God doesn't ask those not related to Him to do His work His will. To both sons, the Father asked the same request but the answers and result was quite different.

Day 18- The first son was abrupt, rude and definite -- "I will not!" But..... later it says he "changed his mind" and went. To change our mind is also called repentance. This first son represents all of us who are sinners. We are willful and independent. We are going our own way but when God asks us to go His way .... we repent. What does it mean to change our minds and repent?
Proverbs 28:13 / Jeremiah 3:13 / Ezekiel 18:31 / Hosea 14:2 / Joel 2:12

Day 19- Notice repentance is only the half of it. The son changed his mind and then he went. Obedience is the second half of the equation. Jesus continually emphasizes the importance of obedience.
John 14:31 / John 15:10

Day 20- And He promised us that our obedience would not be without its reward. Write down from these verses the rewards that God promises to those that do God's will -- i.e. obey Him.
Exodus 19:5 / Deuteronomy 5:29 / 1 Kings 3:14 / John 14:23 / James 1:25

Day 21- Obedience then is essential for being part of God's family.
Matthew 12:50

Day 22- Now, the second son in our story was asked by the father to also go work in his fields. His response was quite different.
Matthew 21:30

Day 23- This son was polite but inconsistent. He professed obedience but had no intention of obeying. This son represents those who talk like they know God and want to obey Him but don't. This son represents an element present in false religion called hypocrisy. As you read these verses create your own definition for a hypocrite.
Proverbs 23:7 / Proverbs 26:25 / Matthew 23:3-4, 28

Day 24- Because the Jewish leaders were hypocrites, they did not obey God. God had sent His Son to them (because they were His chosen people) but they hated and rejected Him. The common people on the other hand, had seen Him, repented, and embraced the salvation He had for them. These leaders did not see themselves as sinners and therefore there was no need to repent. They were not only blind to their sin, but they had fooled themselves into thinking they were in God's good graces because of their outward show of words and piety.
Luke 18: 10-12

Day 25- So now comes the question by Jesus to these Jewish leaders and to us in the church today.
Matthew 21: 31a

These leaders answered correctly and therefore incriminated themselves. What did they know after hearing the Lord's stories?
Matthew 21:45

Day 26- There is an order in the Kingdom of God and to the Pharisees order was important. They wanted to be first in righteousness and first before other men. But Jesus taught that the way to the top is down and this they did not want. As a result, who did Jesus say would be ahead of these men in God's kingdom?
Matthew 21:31b

Day 27- What two charges does Jesus have against the Pharisees?
Matthew 21:32

Day 28- Both sons were bad but our bad state can be changed through repentance (which is turning around 180 degrees to go in the opposite direction). The tax collectors and prostitutes were doing this by believing, repenting and then obeying Jesus. But the Pharisees, in clinging to their religious ways of thinking were rejecting God's Son, and thus God Himself. What does God need to do with hypocrites?
Jeremiah 2:35

And what is the judgment of them?
Titus 1:16

Day 29- So who is the one that does God's will? It is the man or woman who does exactly what God asks for and not the ones who talk big and don't act. Obeying Jesus Christ by doing His will, secures for us the blessing of divine fellowship.
John 14:23

Could anything be more important than this?


Daily Discipline Table of Contents