Scroll Top
A True Repentance

Weekly Devotionals

A True Repentance

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For john came to you to show you the way of the righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collector and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this you did not repent and believe him.” (Matthew 21: 31-32)

This week, I was reading through Gospel Centered Life curriculum, and one of the questions asked was, “when something that someone does bothers you, what kinds of things do you need to see in them before you can forgive them?”

I think most people would have similar answers. You’d want the person to apologize, and not do what they were doing before. If the person apologizes but doesn’t change, would you say that an apology is enough?

In the passage, Jesus compares two sons. The son that originally refused but then obeyed, and the son who agrees but does not obey.  Jesus then asks the religious leaders, “which of the two did what his father wanted?” And they answer, “the first.” Jesus
likens the first son to those that were disobedient to the law like tax collectors and prostitutes. And the second son are those who like the religious leaders were only externally obedient.

The Gospel Centered Life by Thune and Walker says, “Jesus was making an announcement that God was breaking into our world. Through Christ God was speaking and working in the context of our daily lives and giving us access to his presence and power like never before. In light of this reality-the kingdom of God at hand-Jesus said we should rethink how we are living our lives. That’s what it means to repent – to reconsider how we are living life since we now have the option to live life with God.”

What Jesus paints for us here is a picture of true and false repentance. Going back to the initial question, think all of us would have a very time believing that someone was genuinely sorry if there was no change in their actions. Yet, if we were to reflect we might find ourselves doing the exact same thing to God.

Jesus desires a repentant heart, but repentance should always happen in light of the Gospel. Because of the cross we are now empowered by the Spirit to grow more and more in Christ’s likeness. This week, let’s take some time to reflect and pray that the Spirit would lead us to continually live a life of obedience.