6:9, New International Version). . ENDPART VIII: THE MISCELLANEOUS PARABLES
The Parable of the Two Sons is found only in Matthew
"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
"`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
"Which of the two did what his
"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. (Matthew
21:28-32, New International Version).
In the 23rd verse of this chapter we see that
our Lord was asked a question by His adversaries,
they to find accusation against Him. Now He
becomes the assailing party, and begins that series
of parables, in which, as in a glass, they might
see themselves. Yet they are not spoken in words
of defiance, but of earnest love--if possibly He
might save them from the fearful sin they were
about to commit. (Trench, NOTES ON THE PARABLES OF
OUR LORD, p. 67).
The chief priests and elders asked Jesus a twofold
question in verse 23: "By what authority are you doing these
things?" "And who gave you this authority?" Jesus had just
had his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple
and healed people. Children responded to Jesus' healing
people in the temple area with, "Hosanna to the Son of
David." "Son of David" was a title of the Messiah. The
religious leaders did not like it.
The word translated "changed his mind" in verse 29 and
"repent" in verse 32 is METAMELOMAI, "regret,'which is found
five times in the New Testament. The usual word for
repentance is METANOEO, "change of mind," which is found 34
times in the New Testament as a verb and 24 times as a noun.
METAMELOMAI has to do with a single act whereas METANOEO has
to do with a decision to accept Christ as Savior and Lord and
follow God as a lifestyle. [BEACON BIBLE COMMENTARY (Kansas
City, MO: Beacon Hill Press), MATTHEW, By Ralph Earle, pp.
196 ff.]. [Marvin R. Vincent, WORD STUDIES IN THE NEW
TESTAMENT, 4 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Co., 1887-1977), 1:116-117].
In this parable, the first son represented a JewishThe Interpretation
class of open sinners such as the tax collectors. The second
son represented the Jewish religious leaders who questioned
his authority. [William Barclay, DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES,
MATTHEW (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1958), pp. 286
Jesus' purpose was to bring the religious leaders
to repentance. Those whose sins were outward readily
understood that they were sinners and listened more quickly
to John the Baptist and Jesus. Those who were outwardly
religious and sinful on the inside, had deluded themselves
with rationalizations and established a "self-righteousness."
Although this parable applied to the Jewish people in
Jesus' time, the principle applies to all of us. We must ALL
repent, no matter which group of sinners we are in.
REJECTION OF CHRIST IS THE SUPREME TRAGEDY
BUT THERE IS STILL HOPE THROUGH REPENTANCE
As believers, let us labor faithfully in the vineyard of
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians