Being a fool for Jesus

I heard an interesting teaching yesterday on the Parable of the Two Sons.  The parable is as follows:

Matthew 21:28-32

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 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 gave an interesting answer, when the people responded, “The first.” His reply that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you is very telling. The rebellious son that had at first said “no, I will not” eventually changed his mind and attitude then went into the vineyard. The “good son” at first said “I go, sir,” but then he didn’t go.

The pastor went on to explain that sometimes those who seem to be the most “lost” end up being the ones who bow to God’s Will, and the ones who set out to do God’s work sometimes end up not doing so. Jesus said that even the lowliest people among us will get to the kingdom first. It seems, if I understand this correctly, that God often uses those vessels we expect least. Even the fools and the late-bloomers.


Because those who are so confident that they have the right answers often are so full of their own self-righteousness that they don’t see what’s really happening in front of them. They didn’t see who John the Baptist was because they were so sure they knew the Word. Meanwhile, people who had only heard the Word just once or a few times understood the truth of it and they were admitted into the kingdom of God. All those lowly, filthy, impure people who simply believed. They understood Jesus’ message, and the message of John. They didn’t have the preconceived notions that the rest of us do. They tend to be the ones willing to go into the vineyard because even though they don’t know as much as some others, they are willing to be used to work for the Father. They don’t know the intricacies of the Word, all the double meanings or the “right” interpretation, they simply know it is the right thing to do.

I want to go to the vineyard, Lord, send me. I might not know exactly what I’m doing, might look like a complete fool to some people while I’m doing it, but I’m willing to work. Send me, Lord.

Send me.

God can and does use anyone, as long as they are willing – even if they weren’t willing right away. God even once spoke through a donkey, which is known for being the most stubborn, stupid animal ever.

Numbers 22:22-39

Balaam’s Donkey and the Angel

22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse[a] before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.”35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.’

Just because I “think” I may be right about my understanding of the Word of the Lord, that doesn’t mean that I am right. Thinking that you are right because you’ve gone to parochial school or have studied scripture since the age of three is precisely why God uses fools (and donkeys) to confound the wise.

You can beat that donkey, you can terrorize it, chase it down and crush it, but it will still say what God told it to say. Because maybe, just maybe, it saw something you didn’t. Did you ever think about that? I think about that. All the time. What does this person know that I don’t? Probably a lot more than I do, but being the fool for Jesus that I am, the stupid, lowly housewife who builds ads for a living, I will never deny Him, either. Jesus is my Lord, as is God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Back in the days when Jesus emerged from the tomb on that wonderful day, His first witnesses were a couple of lowly women- witnesses who would never had any credence at that time. Women were little better than beasts of burden in those days. Foolish, silly women. Yet their testimony and the testimony of around 500 others have stood the test of time – 2000 years. It is still unassailable. Because these unlikely witnesses saw something we didn’t.

If calamity comes, and if God wills it, so be it. I will never blame God for bad things that happen. I finish my race. Not because it’s your will or anyone else’s, but His Will. If it’s not His will to allow it, then no weapon formed against me or anyone else you hate will prosper. And yes, I’m always watching, always looking up.

– Jillian

Image from: La cache à Maxime

“Vineyard experience”



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