The Law of Change

Sunday, February 21, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matt. 21:28, "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.’ 29" 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. [change] 30"Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. [no change] 31"Which of the two did what his father wanted?"  "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Sometimes, people who claim to know God have the most difficulty changing. Why is this? It may be because we presume that our relationship with Him is so profound that we have somehow been elevated to a changeless state. Be careful that you do not start thinking that you don’t have to change. 

Someone once stated “The only constant in life is change.” Like many other common statements in life, when held up to the light of the word of God, this statement is not as obvious as it seems.

When viewed through the lens of the Word of God, change has a significant definition.

The fact is this: There is good change and bad change. There is change that you need and change that you don’t need. There are things the must change and things that must not change. Sometimes change is genuine and sometimes change is staged.

Definition of change verb | Make or become different; make or become a different substance entirely; transform; alter; take or use another instead of; move from one to another; remove (something dirty or faulty) and replace it with another of the same kind; The substitution of one thing for another.

In our text, Jesus shares a parable about two sons. These two sons look amazingly like us and everyday people. I’ll call them Billy and Bob. When asked to go work in the vineyard, Billy said “No,” but later changed his mind and went. Bob said “Yes,” but did not go.

Billy changed and Bob did not.

Why did Billy change his mind? He changed his mind because he recognized that he had a responsibility and an obligation to his father. He respected and loved his father, more than his own unwillingness to work. Billy also recognized that working in the vineyard was a part of his purpose for that season in his life.

Why did Bob say he would go and did not? It was Bob was a lazy liar. Bob represents one of the worse aspects of human nature. Not only does Bob not change, he tries to give the impression that he is faithful and committed. Bob is the kind of person that will waste your time, money and energy because, based on what he said, you prepare for him, but he doesn’t show up.

Jesus uses this parable to admonish His own Jewish people who think there history and heritage somehow gives them an inroad to God ahead of others. The fact is that all people, Jews and Gentiles, people from Christians homes and people who are not from Christians homes, must CHANGE in order to follow God.

In reality, what Billy did was REPENT. We know it because he changed his mind. The word repent literally means to “change one’s mind” and turn and go in another direction.

If you are going to change for the better, you are going to have to do a lot of repenting. I’m not talking about repenting of sin like sinners, but repenting of disobedience, like disciples.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

Change occurs when we experience a convergence of three factors:
1)  Our willingness to go in a new way
2)  The light of God’s knowledge
3)  Death of the old way

The Law of Change: Everyone and everything that is short of God’s standard of perfection must change. God’s perfection provides us a firm foundation for change. We continue to grow and change until Jesus returns.