Musings on….. God Values Actions Above Words

Matthew 21:28-32 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “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.’

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

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

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

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 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.


One commentary here

Answer: The Parable of the Two Sons can be found in Matthew 21:28-32. The basic story is of a man with two sons who told them to go work in the vineyard. The first son refused, but later obeyed and went. The second son initially expressed obedience, but actually disobeyed and refused to work in the vineyard. The son who ultimately did the will of his father was the first son because he eventually obeyed. Jesus then likens the first son to tax collectors and prostitutes—the outcasts of Jewish society—because they believed John the Baptist and accepted “the way of righteousness” (v. 32), in spite of their initial disobedience to the Law.


Matthew 21:28-32

These five verses are a parable, not to the disciples, but to the chief priests and elders of the people, whose heritage or fine credentials alone would not give them the right to continue to rule. He tells the story of a son who says he will work and then does not as opposed to a son who says he will not but repents and does his father’s wishes. The former son is the leadership of Israel who agreed to the covenant but rejected it. The latter son is the publicans and harlots whose lives were sinful but who were willing to repent. Similarly, in I Corinthians 1:26-31, Paul attests that Christ will build His church through the weak and base, not the ones men think should be first. From here


This clears it up a bit and dumbs it down: from here

Yes or No? A Parable of Two Sons

Theme: Faithfulness in our service to God and to others. Proper 21 (26) Year A
Object: A rake and some trash bags
Scripture: The Parable of the Two Sons: Matthew 21:28-32
Has your mother or your father ever asked you to help out around the house by doing some chores? I’m sure that has probably happened to you. This morning I am going to tell a story about a father who had two sons named John and William. One day dad walked into John’s room to find him building a model airplane. “John, we had a lot of wind last night and there are leaves scattered all over the yard. Would you please rake the leaves and put them in these trash bags?” dad asked.

“Aw Dad, I don’t have time to rake the leaves. I am working on this model airplane and I really want to finish it today,” John answered.

The father turned and left the room and went to look for William. He found William watching TV. “William, there are a lot of leaves in the yard. Would you please rake the leaves and put them in these bags?” dad asked.

“Sure, I’d be glad to,” William answered.

“Great!” said dad. “I’ll leave the rake and the trash bags in the yard.”

After his father left, John began to think about what he had asked him to to do. “I can rake the leaves and still have plenty of time to finish my model airplane later,” John thought to himself. He went outside and began raking the leaves.

When dad returned home, he saw John raking leaves. “Where is William?” dad asked.

“I don’t know. The last time I saw him he was watching TV,” John replied.

When dad went into the house, guess what he saw? There sat William, still watching TV! I wonder which of the two sons pleased his father? John, who said he wouldn’t rake the leaves, but did — or William, who said he would rake the leaves, but didn’t?

In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a similar story to show how different people obey what God has called them to do. In Jesus’ parable of the two sons, the father asked both sons to go and work in his vineyard. Just as the two boys in my story, one son answered, “No,” but went and worked. The other son answered “yes” did not go. In telling the story, Jesus wanted us to realize that what we do is more important than what we say we will do. Jesus wants us to answer, “Yes,” when he tells us to “Love one another,” but what he really wants is for us to love one another! Jesus wants us to answer, “Yes,” when he says,”Follow me,” but what he really wants is for us to follow him! That’s the kind of child I want to be. Isn’t it the kind of child you want to be?

Father, sometimes we say, “Yes,” but our actions say, “No.” Help us to be faithful to do what you have called us to do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


So after reading all that and realizing who Jesus was talking about; the pharisees VS the jewish believers and what He was talking about; believing John’s gospel about Jesus, I still can’t quite grasp my mind around it. Probably because I am a sinful human, but for me personal, I hate hate hate when someone says something negative or says no, then will turn around and do whatever that thing was they were against in the beginning.

As I type this, I realize it is because I want that said person or persons to want to do what I say, to do what I say, to agree and acknowledge what I say.

I don’t know, maybe it’s the mom in me too. I think of this parable when I think of parenting. Do we want to hear our kid[s] say no to us?

But I guess, in the end, If Jesus is ok with hearing NO, then seeing the opposite action because of a softening of the heart then I must be too.

~~felt good getting into a musings post…. been ruminating on that parable for a while.


3 responses »

  1. We are indeed fortunate that we worship a God who is full of grace. If God was like us humans, anytime someone disobeyed His commands, they would be in a world of trouble. That someone is usually us, because of our sinful nature our first response to the Lord’s will is always to resist it. Thankfully God is not like us but is more than willing to forgive us. Yet for those who say they will do and not do it, I wonder what the Lord thinks about such people? I can suspect that He would be heartbroken because to not do as you say is essentially lying to one who asked. I don’t think it would be a good idea to lie to our Lord.

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