Our society gives titles that indicate respect. I have not met the person, but “The Chief Justice” of the Supreme Court sounds pretty impressive. In Jesus’ time, those in his society who were seeking God and God’s kingdom might have had the same feelings for “The Chief Priests.” But, sadly, these folks were misguided.
In the Spark Story Bible for children, the readers are given the following look at “The Chief Priests.”
The chief priests came to Jesus in the temple. “Who do you think you are to act this way and spend time with bad people?” they asked.
Jesus answered them with another question, confusing the priests. So Jesus told them a parable. Jesus said, “A father said to one son, ‘Go work in the vineyard.’ The son said no, but later changed his mind and worked. The man told his other son the same thing. The son said he would work, but he didn’t. Which of these sons obeyed?” Jesus asked.
“The first one,” they replied.
Jesus said, “Yes. Think about it. The people who you think are bad are like the first son. They’ve done bad things, but they’ve changed their ways. You’re like the second son. You may say that you are good, but you don’t act that way.”
The chief priest had missed the point. It wasn’t that you loved God. You needed to show that love in how you lived your life. Respect for how you live as a child of God is earned rather than granted.
Let Your love flow over me so that I love You and others more. Let me show with actions that I have been claimed and saved by Your love. Help me to live as Jesus taught and modeled, as I walk each day as one of His disciples. Amen.