Continuing my series on the secrets of the kingdom. I used to think the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Heaven was a reference to Heaven, some place we could go to in the future after we die. This is one passage that changed my way of thinking about the kingdom Jesus kept talking about.
“But what do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘My son, go, work in the vineyard today.’
“He answered, ‘I don’t want to!’ Yet later he changed his mind and went. Then the man went to the other and said the same thing.
“‘I will, sir,’ he answered. But he didn’t go.
“Which of the two did his father’s will?”
“The first,” they said.
Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you! For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him. Tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him, but you, when you saw it, didn’t even change your minds then and believe him.
I'll make three observations from this passage:
1) I find the present tense of this passage interesting. Similar to Luke 16:16 it seems people were already entering this kingdom starting in those days. Living under the reign and rule of God is something that can take place in the present as well.