Jesus’ Parables: Two Sons

In Matthew 21:23 the chief priests and elders of the people came to Jesus challenging His authority, wanting to know where He got the authority to teach and do the things He was doing. Look at what happened: Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell Me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things” (Mat 21:24-27).

Jesus knew the hardness of their heart. He knew their unbelief. Knew their corruption and sin. They weren’t doing the will of the Father. They wanted to do things their own way. And so Jesus goes on to give a parable for them to chew on: “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. 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” (Mat 21:28-32).

Jesus was trying to get the chief priests and elders to see their own unbelief. They didn’t believe John the Baptist when he want about preaching the gospel of the kingdom and baptizing people. They didn’t repent of their sins and turn to righteousness. But there were plenty of people the chief priests and elders condemned as sinners who were repenting and turning to God.

We learn from this that there are those who do not believe, repent, and obey at first. But then they later come to believe and repent and obey. Whereas there are those who do believe but later turn away into sin. God is looking for all who will repent and obey Him. All who will remain faithful. Giving their lives to God. We have all sinned. We all have to repent. We must all obey God. Love God. Serve God. But will we? Will you? Will I? Which son am I going to follow? The one who obeyed? Or the who who didn’t? Choose.


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