90 seconds on the parable of the two sons

This is the text of a 90 second slot on Spirit Radio to be broadcast today at 11.30am or so. Spirit won the first national licence in Ireland for a Christian radio station and began broadcasting earlier this year.

The remit was to draw out five easily accessible mini-conversational pieces for Monday-Friday this week based on Matthew 21:28-32 The Parable of the Two Sons.

Had fun doing them! Feedback welcome.

What do you think?

What do you think? Have you been asked that recently? I guess you probably have. If you are a student in school or college, your teacher will inevitably be asking you what you think – either in class or in an exam. We’re asked what we think in online surveys, by marketing questionnaires on our doorsteps, by our partners and by politicians – but only whenever they want to get elected!

So it’s interesting that, as Jesus begins to tell them a parable, he asks his listeners what they think of him and his message.

Now as you read Matthew’s gospel, his audience wasn’t sympathetic. By and large they were suspicious and opposed to his message that he was the long-awaited Messiah of God. They didn’t think he fitted the bill. He was welcoming into the kingdom of God what they considered to be all the wrong types of people – tax collectors for the occupying Roman Empire and prostitutes for example.

Now if you are like me, I tend to avoid conflict and difficult conversations with people who are likely to disagree with me. But Jesus doesn’t do this. Rather than dismissing or ignoring his opponents, he engages them in discussion and debate. He tells them stories (parables) like this one about the two sons. He challenges their attitudes and provokes them to listen to what God is saying to them.

So if Jesus were to ask you today, What do you think of him, what would your answer be? As he says, have you ears to hear and eyes to see?

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