Parable of the Two Sons

Scripture: Matthew 21:23-32

In this video of Jesus Christ, we learn about the parable of the two sons. To set the stage, as Jesus was teaching in the temple during His last week of life, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews came to Jesus and questioned His authority. They asked, “By what authority doest thou these things?” (Matthew 21:23) Jesus, ever prepared for the leaders of the Jews who tried to catch Him in his words, answered by asking them a question. He told them that if they answered His question, He would tell them by what authority He did the things He did. His question was, “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” (Matthew 21:25)

Jesus’ question back to them was a brilliant question that made them think hard. “They reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.” Ironically, Jesus had caught them in a snare. So, they said “We cannot tell” (Matthew 21:27). Then Jesus told them he could not tell them “by what [He] did these things” (Matthew 21:27). Next, Jesus compares the leaders of the Jews to the parable of the two sons (see below).

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The Parable of the Two Sons:

As Jesus continued to talk to the leaders of the Jews, He told them the parable of the two sons and likened it to them. Here’s the parable: there was a man who had two sons. He told the first to work the vineyard. The son said he wouldn’t, but then changed his mind, repented and went to work in the vineyard. The second son said he would go, but never went. Jesus then asked which of the two sons did the will of his father. The leaders of the Jews answered and said, “The first” (Matthew 21:31). Jesus then told them that the publicans (tax collectors) and harlots would go into heaven before they would - this was a harsh rebuke. In other words, the leaders of the Jews were like the second son who said he would do the will of the Father but then didn't really do it. However, like the first son, if the publicans and harlots would repent, they would find favor in the eyes of their God their Father.

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By Dave Clark