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5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 7)

The first week of 5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 is officially in the books!! Jodi and I ran together for a nice 5k this evening. She rocked 3.1 and I decided to just keep rolling. 

I ended up running for an additional 11 miles, making it a 14 mile run altogether. I ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 23 seconds, which ended up being an average pace of 7:51 per mile. 

It was a nice run! It felt good to be out, moving my legs, and sorting my thoughts.

Altogether this week I ran for a total of 37.9 miles. 

While I was out running today I spent a lot of time thinking about the parable of the two sons from Matthew 21. 

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. – Matthew 21:28-31

I can’t help but wish there was a third son in the parable. I want to be the third son. I want to be the son who said, “I go, sir” and actually went. But that is not how the parable is told, so we are faced with just the two sons…

I think there are probably two main ways to look at the parable. The first is not necessarily the right way to look at it, but I think ultimately a helpful interpretation to consider. I’ll call it the immediate interpretation. 

In the immediate interpretation, I think it is helpful to realize that our actions are ultimately more important than our words. I see this mistake far too often in the church. It is the mistake of saying “Yes” to God but not actually walking in the very thing we said “Yes” to. 

For instance, we may say, “Yes, Lord, I am going to honor you today in all that I say and do” and then we go through the day acting like an idiot and dishonoring God in what we say and do.


I am reminded of what the prophet Isaiah wrote along these lines:

… the Lord said: “… this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me… – Isaiah 29:13

In this immediate interpretation, it seems that it is far better to do the will of God than to simply say you will. It is of no value to know the right thing to do if you are not willing to roll up your sleeves and actually do it. 

Again, I prefer a third son who lets his “Yes” be “Yes”, but we are not given a third son.

While this interpretation is, I think, ultimately helpful, it is also not really the point of the parable. It seems to be a peripheral truth. 

The real point of the parable, I believe, is the salvation interpretation. By this I mean that the parable, I believe, ultimately reveals God’s heart to invite all people into salvation through Christ. 

The religious, self-righteous people will say “Yes” to the idea of salvation but ultimately refuse to trust in Christ alone for eternal life. Meanwhile, those who recognize that they are in desperate need of a Savior will say “No” at first by going their own way and making a mess of their lives, but ultimately turn to Jesus as their only hope and closest Friend. 

This had to be a difficult parable for the religious leaders to hear. 

…”Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. – Matthew 21:31b-32

There is no third son, so the question for us is this:

Regardless of what we have done in the past (whether good or bad), are we trusting in Christ alone for salvation?



21 thoughts on “5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 7) Leave a comment

  1. 5K done ✅
    Interesting I thought about the possibility of a third son as well as I was reading this morning and I am totally guilty of praying may His will be done in all I do and then messing up completely. Praise God for Mercy.

    • Amen! So thankful for God’s mercy and grace! One thing that I cling to is the fact that God doesn’t actually ask us to be GOOD at things. He just asks us to do them.

      I see that in my kids. I am often more blessed by their attempted obedience than in the quality of the work they do. As long as they are doing their best, I am blessed by their effort. I really think God feels the same way about us.

  2. 2 3’s completed. Matthew 19 really struck me. I was listening to it while running/ walking. The subject of divorce really hit me hard. The world today really has marriage messed up, even in the church. Really made my mind spin while I was out.

    • Good job. The teaching on divorce stood out to me, too. Clearly God’s best is for two people (especially two believers) to work out their differences -which honors God and saves a lot of people an enormous amount of damage and pain.

  3. Both 3s in for today (for the week actually). This morning we had the privilege of doing something that’s never happened before and may never happen again. We did our 3.1 miles with Sheldon and Missy along the Ohio River. Yes, they slowed down, and we all walked together! It seems like a long time ago, because after we walked, we went to church (where we heard a sermon on Matthew 21) then to Sheldon’s graduation. On the way home tonight we listened to Matthew 19-21. I, too, thought about those two sons and didn’t want to be either. I appreciate your thoughts on this, Jeff. I’m glad I can totally trust Jesus alone for salvation.

    • How fun! What an awesome experience to be able to do the 5k altogether! And how cool that the sermon was on Matthew 21, but even cooler yet: SHELDON GRADUATED!!! Yay!

  4. 8 very flat miles in round and round the track.

    I was challenged to be humble by today’s passage. In the parable of the hired workers the guys hired first should have been grateful for the work and rejoiced that their fellow workers got paid too. They should have taken a humble less competitive approach…a good lesson for me…be happy for others even if it feels like I had to work harder for less. Then James and John make a play for court side seats w Jesus…which resulted in another lesson in humility. Finally the King of Creation rides in on a little donkey…a great example of humility.

  5. I had a privilege to run with The Geiser family tonight. Which was nice to run with other people. It’s hard to run on my own because I have to talk and answer myself which takes more air. 😊 We had a little different times which was strange because we all ran beside each other. I had 30:51 which gave me a pace time of 9:08 and ran 3.38 miles.
    Seems like three chapters is to much go break down because there is so much to think about and that sticks out. The question that came to my mind was. I wonder what Jesus would think about the church today? Would he throw the coffee pots out and be upset how we expect to be comfortable by comfy chairs to not being packed to the social events in the church? Matthew 21:13 says “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer,’but you make it a den of robbers.” This was interesting to me to think about and process through.

    • I wonder the same thing. I’m not interested in being negative or overly critical, but it seems to be an important question. Glad you were able to run with the Geisers. How fun!

  6. We read our three chapters and got our 5K in. We were actually able to do our 5K with Paul and Cindy today because they were down here for graduation. We had a great time with them!

  7. We both ran with Mark Rowe today and it was awesome! Wish I could get a better handle on my breathing, but I made it. Like Mark said, we all ended up with different times and paces while running next to each other!?! Weird! So Randy’s time was 30:54 at 3.27 miles with a 9:27 pace. And mine was 28:47 at 3.13 miles and a 9.12 pace. Randy and Mark ran a little more than me and I was glad to let them!! The thing that stuck out to me in today’s reading reminded me of one of your sermons…I think it was the one where you asked if Jesus was “just our savior” or our LORD….but I might be wrong. But anyway it’s where I remember you asking how could they be shouting “hosanna” one moment and then crucify him days later. And you mentioned how when they asked who He was, they answer in Matthew 21:11, a “prophet”. They missed it. And then they crucified Him. Like Mark, I wonder what Jesus would say about American church’s today. We’ve got our committees for everything (and it seems we are making more all the time), and our coffee pots are not lacking. But we are tossing out the people who are blunt and challenging like Jesus. Perhaps the only “C” we are interested in is “comfortable”. I know I have tendencies for comfort too, but then I struggle with the comfortable church. So I guess I feel like one of those 2 sons who says one thing but doesn’t do it either. Not a pretty picture to see of myself, but a challenging one anyway.

    • Cool experience! Good job on all 3 runs! Let me know next time you guys are doing a track run. I would love to join you.

      I remember that sermon. That is a real challenge! I worship a Savior who is LORD!!

      All of this coffee tossing talk has made me really uncomfortable… I sure do like my coffee! But I pray that God will make me uncomfortable in all of my ways that are not in line with who He has called me to be.

      I am not nearly as much like Him as I want to be, but I am confident that He who began a good work in me will continue to perfect it until Christ returns!!!

      • Lol! I really should be more careful how I speak about the coffee because goodness know if they ever set up a “pie bar” like they did at Pie and Praise, I’d probably be first in line and back for seconds!! Coffee does nothing for me, but a piece of pie is my comfort food! 😋

  8. Day 7 done. Hard to get going today after spending about 2 hours kayaking down the river with my son. The lazy-boy and nap would have been easier. Thanks for commenting on the two sons, Jeff. Without going into detail here, I actually found a lot of comfort in that parable as I read it today.

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