This is the text of a third 90 second slot on Spirit Radio that are being broadcast each week-day this week at 11.30am. 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 based on Matthew 21:28-32 The Parable of the Two Sons.
Had fun doing them! Feedback welcome.
Who is the kingdom of God for?
Let me ask you a question.
Who are the most despised and hated groups of people in Ireland today? The people who bankrupted the nation? The Bankers? The Property Developers? The politicians who failed to govern while greedily misusing their positions of power for personal profit? Drug dealers who exploit the weaknesses of the vulnerable? Paedophiles who use and abuse children?
Maybe as I mention these groups you can feel your blood boil or your stomach lurch. Maybe there are people you know personally who, if you are honest, you can’t stand the sight of – maybe even for good reason.
But here’s the sting in the tail of Jesus’ parable. He says that it’s exactly those sorts of people who are entering the kingdom of God. That shocked and angered his listeners and if we get this parable it should shock and anger us too.
It’s not that Jesus overlooks their wrong actions and says what they did doesn’t matter. He doesn’t. He calls tax collectors and prostitutes to a new life of following him.
But the point I want to leave with you is that entry to the kingdom of God does not depend on how good or successful we are or even how corrupt and greedy and exploitative we have been.
No, there is ONE entry point into the kingdom and it is the same for everyone, whoever they are and whatever they have done. What is it?
That new life begins with repentance and faith. And more of what those words mean tomorrow.