The Parable of the Two Sons

The Parable
of the Two
Matthew 21:28-32
• Many times Jesus told parables in
response to questions
– “The Unmerciful Servant”
– “The Laborers in the Vineyard”
• The next few parables are told in
response to challenges from those who
opposed Him
• Jesus has entered Jerusalem for His
final Passover
• The religious leaders are trying to
confound Jesus with trick questions
• Immediately before the parable, they
asked Him by whose authority He did
these things
– Matthew 21:23-27
The Parable
• Mt 21:28-30
– A man with 2 sons tells both sons to go
– The first says he won’t go, but then
– The second says he will go, but doesn’t
Explaining the Parable
• Jesus begins His explanation with a question
– “Which of the two did the will of the father?” (v.
• Even the religious leaders knew the answer was
the first
• Jesus’ reply to those leaders (vv 31b-32)
– The religious leaders were the second son
• They said they would obey God, but didn’t
– Sinners are the first son
• They had turned their backs on God, but then
The message of the parable
• Answering His own question from v. 25
– John’s baptism was obviously from God
– The leaders knew that, but had not obeyed
– The sinners also knew that and had obeyed
• Therefore the sinners will be more acceptable
to God than the religious leaders
• (The question of authority will be addressed in
the next parable)
• We must be “doers” not just “sayers”
– Mt 7:21-27
– Mt 28:19-20
• He said “Go … make disciples … baptize
them …teach them”
• It’s one thing to say “Yes”, it’s another to
actually do it
– 1 Cor 7:19; 1 Jn 2:3-4
– Titus 3:1, 8, 14
• Anyone can repent and be acceptable to God
by obeying His commands
– Rom 3:23 – We are all equally sinners
– 1 Cor 6:9-11 – No matter your sins, they can be
– Acts 2:37-38 – Repent and be baptized
• The “religious” people of Jesus’ day
did not obey the simple commands of
– They would not enter the kingdom
• The sinners who were willing to repent
and obey were the ones who would
enter the kingdom
• Which group do you belong to?