Summary: Jesus speaks thru parable to teach us the basic premise of obedience...
Date Written: July 29, 2008
Date Preached: July 30, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)
Sermon Series: A Study of the Parables
Sermon Title: The Parable of the 2 Sons
Sermon Text: Matt 21:28-32
28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.
How often do we tell God, “I’ll do it, but we never get around to it…or we drag our feet so badly that God has to be a constant reminder for us to do what we need to do…”
In our passage tonight we read a parable that Jesus used to reveal a story about obedience. In this parable we find a father calling his 2 sons to go out into the field to work for him. We find a son who says that he is going to obey and then choose NOT to obey, then we find a son who says he is NOT going to obey, but repents and changes direction and does obey.
Those of us who are parents we all know and understand where Jesus is coming from in this particular passage. Obedience always seems to be an issue for us parents; I have had my share of ‘obedience’ issues with my children as I am sure all of you have. I once heard a story about a man who had trouble getting his son to clean his room.
The dad would insist that the son, “Do it right now!” and the son would always immediately agree to do it, but when Dad walked away the son wouldn’t follow through… However, after high school, the son decided to join the Marines. He enlisted and went to boot camp.
When his father flew out for graduation and they were on the plane together coming home for his leave after boot camp, he looked at his dad and said, “Dad, my life really makes sense now. I can’t believe I am saying this but everything you said and did when I was growing up now makes total sense to me. I want you to know that I really, really understand. Oh yeah, Dad in boot camp, I totally learned what ‘now’ means.”
Far too often God calls us to his vineyard and calls us to a particular duty and we give God the ‘brush off’ and say, “I’ll get to it in a minute God!” In our prayer we may say, “Yes” to God but deep in our hearts and soul, we say, “When I get the time…”
As a pastor I have see that far too often, believers’ attitudes are, “How far can I go and still be called a Christian?” We want to believe ourselves to be obedient and pure, but our actions reveal that we do what we want to do and that we want to avoid the hard work of being obedient to the call of Christ in our lives!
In looking at this parable we can see a dichotomy of decision. 1st we see the platitude offered by the 1st son who said, “Sure Dad, I’ll go…” knowing full well that he did not want to go and never intends to go…
2nd we can see the defiant response of the so called radical son in challenging his father’s authority by telling him, “No, I am NOT going to go and work in the field!” But conviction sets in and he surrenders to the calling of his father and repents of his defiance and goes out into the field to work.
This parable can be seen as a forthtelling story that represents the church in general. The vineyard represented the nation of Israel for a long time, and here it could still represent them…however, context leads us to believe that the vineyard is like the garden plot of the parable of the soils… it is the world and the seed has been planted and the master has watered that seed and a harvester needs to be sent out to harvest the crop.
Our first worker tells God he WILL “go out into the field and harvest” but he does not, the 2nd worker tells God NO I am not going to do it, changes his mind, repents and submits to the command of the Father.