What Is the Meaning of the Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew 21?

Parable of two sons

The Parable of the Two Sons, also known as the Parable of the Obedient and Disobedient Sons, is a parable told by Jesus in the New Testament, found in Matthew 21:28-32. In this parable, Jesus compares the actions of two sons, one who obeys his father and one who disobeys him, to the actions of the religious leaders of the time.

The story goes as follows: A father asks his two sons to go and work in the vineyard. The first son initially refuses, but later changes his mind and goes to work in the vineyard. The second son initially agrees to go, but does not follow through on his promise. When Jesus asks of the two sons which of them did the will of their father, the first son, who initially refused but later obeyed, they responded.

The parable is meant to illustrate the concept of repentance, or turning away from sin and towards God. The first son represents those who repent and follow through on their promises to God, while the second son represents those who initially seem righteous but do not follow through on their promises.

The religious leaders of the time, who were often more concerned with upholding their own traditions and laws rather than following the will of God, are represented by the second son. Despite their outward appearances of righteousness, they are not truly obedient to God. On the other hand, those who may not have seemed as righteous initially, but who repent and follow through on their promises to God, are represented by the first son.

In Matthew 21:31, Jesus says, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you." This statement is meant to highlight the idea that it is not outward appearances or societal status that determine one's righteousness, but rather it is a heart that is willing to repent and follow through on one's promises to God.

This parable also highlights the importance of action and following through on one's promises to God. Merely saying that one will do something is not enough; it is important to actually follow through and do what one has promised.

Overall, the Parable of the Two Sons is a reminder to all of us to examine our own actions and ensure that we are truly following through on our promises to God and living a righteous life, rather than just paying lip service to our faith.

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