12/27 Matthew 21:32

32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Jesus told a parable about two sons. One said he would do what his father asked, but never followed through. The other said he wouldn't do what his father asked, but changed his mind and did it. Then Jesus asked the religious leaders which of the sons did his father's will. They said the one that changed his mind did. Then Jesus pointed out that this was similar to the response to John the Baptist's message. The religious leaders who said they would obey God did not repent. The crowd that had never promised to do God's will did repent. Even when the leaders saw the changed lives they would still not repent (Matthew 21:28-32).

We can be so set in the pride of our dogma that even when we see the evidence we still refuse to change our minds. Repentance is a change of mind in the way we see things. The religious leaders missed the fact that all their efforts of obedience did not bring them closer to God. God's righteousness is so much greater than man's, and nothing short of it can be in God's presence. We need God's righteousness to be acceptable to God.

By changing their minds and repenting, they were preparing their hearts for the Messiah and His provision of righteousness. When we receive His righteousness, the godly actions come from the heart and not mere human effort. The very desires of our hearts are transformed through His indwelling presence. When our holiness is of Him, we have no room for pride.

Consider: Have you obeyed the message of John the Baptist? Have you had a change of mind? Where do you see lives being transformed in your community?