Summary: The Parable of the 2 Sons - The character quality of giving AND keeping your word, and of genuine repentance to do the right thing. Much needed today! Link included to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint Template.
My Two Sons
This parable begins with Christ’s “What think ye?” and is designed to make us think. Some perish for lack of thought, and many more for wrong thinking.
A. What the Father Commanded:
“Son, go work today in my vineyard” (v. 28). The Father’s vineyard needs workers ; who should be more interested than the
1. BASIS OF THE FATHER’S CLAIM.
“Son,” (v. 28).
Plenty of hirelings may be got for wages, but love ought to constrain a son. “The love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Cor .5. 14). If we are the sons of God, surely our Father has the first claim upon our time and strength and substance. Our Father may hire strangers to serve Him (Isa. 7. 20) but sons are commanded.
2. DESIRE OF THE FATHER’S HEART.
“Work” (v. 28).
What a grief it must be to our God to see so much work to be done and so many of His sons idle. Work is pleasing to the Father, good for the vineyard, and profitable for the son. “The idle soul shall suffer hunger” (Prov. 19. 15). Our Father has a multitude of talkative sons, but the labourers are few.
3. URGENCY OF THE FATHER’S REQUEST.
The time for serving the Lord is always NOW. Some of us younger sons say, “Wait till I get a little more experience.” Some of the older sons say, “It is not worth my while now ;” or they are thinking about retiring from the vineyard. Go, work today, this present day of salvation, for “the night cometh when no man can work” (John 9.4). “Wherefore the Holy Ghost saith, TODAY…” (Heb. 3.7).
So, that’s what the Father commanded, next…
B. What the Sons Said:
In the case of the first we have-
1. A HARSH REFUSAL.
“I will not” (v. 29). His language reveals a spirit of selfish indifference to the Father’s desire. In plain words it is this: “I have something else of my own to look after, and have not time to work in your vineyard.”
Does the selfish Christian care for the perishing millions, or the grieving of the Father’s heart? His language also reveals his open rebellion. “I will not.” His was a life opposed to the Father’s will and out of sympathy with the Father’s purpose.
The other son answered with-
2. A BOGUS COMMITMENT.
“I go” (v. 30). He speaks with marked respect, “I go, sir.” Judging from his talk he has a great reverence for his father and a great zeal for his work. His words are smoother than butter. The descendants of this oily-lipped professor have not yet ceased from among us. People today are quick to make commitments, or just give what they believe is the ‘right answer’ to get rid of you, but with no intention of following thru. Or, sometimes they have the right intention, but no character to keep their word.
And yet at the same time this son’s instant decision and prompt reply to the father’s urgent command should be copied by every son. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14. 15). Don’t hesitate to make commitments just so you’ll never break one!
A great passage on this is…
1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?