How hard would it be to hear that the neighbour down the street who hasn’t darkened the doorsteps of a church in years will go to heaven before you? How about hearing that the prostitutes and criminals will enter the kingdom of heaven before you? How hard would it be to hear those things when you go to church every Sunday and you try to live a good clean life? I would say it would be pretty hard.
That is exactly what Jesus says in the passage today. Jesus says that the tax collectors, who were not very honest, and the prostitutes were going to enter the kingdom of heaven before the chief priests and elders in the temple!
Jesus shows that it’s not about what you know, it’s about what you believe. Those who are lowly in stature will enter the kingdom before those who are thought to be righteous because they had open minds and believed John’s word. We need to have open minds and hearts so that we might hear the voice of God in people we don’t expect, and to accept that God is speaking to us through those unusual people.
Heavenly God, we pray that you open our minds and hearts, so that we may hear your word and believe. Amen. — GB