Parable of the Two Sons (Matt 21:28-32)

Rebuking disobedient religious leaders

When Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God, He taught using a series of parables. In like manner, Jesus rebukes religious leaders with the first of three consecutive parables. What do you observe of the parable? How do these three parables function as a unit?

"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' And he answered and said, 'I will not'; but afterward he regretted it and went. And the man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered and said, 'I will, sir'; but he 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 that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get 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 prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even regret afterward so as to believe him. (Matt 21:28-32, LSB)

1. Carefully observe the behavior of the two sons and record your notes in a chart.

Son Answer?
Was it Honest?
Repented? Worked? Obedient?
Why or Why Not?


2. What is the point of comparison? Which son described Jewish religious leaders? What was Jesus saying about them?

3. Which son represented sinners such as tax collectors and prostitutes? Why will they enter the Kingdom of God? Do you remember the message of John the Baptist?

Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!'" (Matt 3:1-3, LSB)

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