The Parable of the Two Sons

In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus tells the following parable:

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

 ” ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

The first son at first refuses to work but then changes his mind.  He represents the people who at first hear the Word and don’t act right away but the Holy Spirit convicts them and they are converted.  Then, they go and they serve God.  The second son says he will go and work but then ends up not doing so.  He represents people who hear the Word and at first they say they will change and follow the will of God but then they don’t.  They are not convicted enough to change so they continue in their old ways.  Jesus tells the people that the outcasts like the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God because after John the Baptist showed them the way they ought to be, they were convicted and they changed their lives while those who saw how these people changed for the better but still did not follow suit and repent.  They didn’t change.  They didn’t heed John.  Like the second son, many of people promise to do what God wants but they don’t. They hold on to their old ways.  They do not move from where they are. 

A lot of us are guilty of not following through with what we say we are going to do.  One of our parents asks us to do something around the house and we say, “okay” but we don’t do it because we forget or we are caught up doing something else or we decide that it is too much of a hassle. This upsets our parents who expect us to obey them.  How must God feel when we promise that we will turn from our old ways and do as He asks and then we don’t follow through because either we are so caught up in our lives and in ourselves that we don’t leave any room for God or we decide that we prefer to leave things the way they are? 

Today, ask God to help you to be like the first son who allowed the Holy Spirit to work in his heart to change him so that he ended up doing what his father asked him to do.


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