Who Did His Father’s Will?

Jesus told a story about a man who had two sons, both of whom were somewhat rebellious. He said, “He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered and said, ‘I will, sir’; and he did not go. And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, ‘I will not’; yet he afterward regretted it and went” (Matt. 21:28-32).

Jesus asked His hearers to decide, “Which of the two did the will of his father?” It was obvious which one did, even if he got off to a bad start. So Jesus said that those who heard the gospel and repented, even though their sins were great, followed God’s will much more than those who respectfully said they’d follow—but didn’t. 

The gospel teaches us a great deal of “doing.” Doing as Christ did. Doing “unto others.” Doing when we don’t feel like it—until we do. Psychologists call this the “Behavioral Model.” You might not feel like doing it, but start doing it and your feelings follow your behavior. 

What did Yoda say when Luke Skywalker whined, “All right, I'll give it a try.” Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” 

More seriously, Jesus said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (Jn. 13:17) and His brother James warned, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)