The day after Jesus clears out the Temple, He returns to teach the people (isn’t it great that Jesus doesn’t just show us what NOT to do, but actually shows us how to actually live instead?). While there, Jesus gives many parables (illustrations to teach lessons) including this one found in Matthew 21:28-32:[“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.’
“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“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. 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.]
Of course, we know that our salvation is not based on works, but we also know a real relationship with God will involve actual change. This change will be much deeper than anything we could ever do on our own, but instead it will be a transformation in our hearts. The Pharisees that Jesus was talking to were great at keeping the law, but their love for God was absent, so it never translated into actions of love for Him or others.
Jesus’ point is clear, let us be more than talk.