An IRS agent and a sex worker walk into a kingdom.
Sounds like the setup for a joke but it’s part of a story Jesus used in Matthew 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.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For 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.”
What we do, or have done will not keep us out of Gods kingdom. However, once we are part of God’s kingdom, a member of his family, we need to get on with the business of that kingdom.
It isn’t enough to preserve our life and family, there is a bigger job still to get done. There are lives being lived without hope or truth. There are untended wounds, uncared for people who don’t know that God loves them, loves them enough to send his only son to die on a cross for them.
We Christians are in the same danger as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day of missing the point of the gospel. The point is that Jesus came to save sinners, sinners like the worst people that we know, sinners like us.
The worst people of Jesus day were the prostitutes and the IRS guys. They were hated.
Who wrote this book we are reading? Matthew, an IRS agent.
God changes lives and changes people with love.