Matthew 21:23–32
    The lectionary reading jumps over the triumphal entry into Jerusalem (read on Palm Sunday) at the beginning of the chapter, and joins the story after Jesus curses the fig tree outside of Bethany.  Faced with the healing of the blind man before the triumphal entry and then Jesus' cleansing of temple along with further healing of the blind and the lame, the leaders gather together to challenge Jesus' authority in this section.  Rather than answering directly, Jesus challenges them to define authority based upon the righteousness of John the Baptist.  After they shrewdly refuse to answer, Jesus then defines righteousness not by stated intention but by action.  This ties back to his definition of cleanliness coming from the heart and his description of righteous fruit coming from a righteous tree.  While the mouth may tell pretty lies, the hands act upon the conviction of the heart.  Thus while the leaders talk of repentance and then reject John the Baptist, those who were in need of repentance relented and believed.  Jesus' authority comes from the One who can transform the hardened heart to a faithful heart and bring the sinner to repentance.

     Matthew 21:29 "later he changed his mind and went."
         The older you get, do you find yourself more hesitant to commit?
        Is it sometimes wiser to take your time to make sure you can do the job properly?
        What does this mean when we say yes to Jesus?
        Jesus kept calling the disciples to follow him even after they left the nets.  
        Is he still calling you?


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