Parable of the Two Sons: If you are new to this series, we are analyzing 39 parables from the teachings of Jesus. Through this series, we will take each one and break it down to make it easier to understand its meaning. Just a note, Jesus was divine and had infinite knowledge. We do not presume that this is the only interpretation of this parable, but it is ours, and we hope it helps.
Parable of the Two Sons –
Scripture – Matthew 21:28-32
When we look at this parable, the primary point that Jesus was trying to make is about what we believe we should do but don’t vs what we actually do.
Let’s paint the personas of two different groups of people. These are easy to categorize. You have the good people and the bad people.
The good people believe their goodness comes from their own entitlement from something they have been told in their life or from their title that they have been given which sets them above others. They also go through life with a closed mind to anything that might take away from their perceived stature.
The bad people have never really given much thought to doing things that are for others and have been treated badly most of their lives. They have had to take the more difficult path in the road and harbor a level of resentment for the world and people around them. Most have been given no entitlement to speak of.
When Jesus is referring to the two sons in the parable, in one interpretation, we can say that one son was in the group of good people. The second son was from the bad people. And lastly, the father is God.
How they apply
In the time of Jesus, He was speaking of the Sanhedrin and the Priests of the Temple. These are the good people. Jesus spoke to everyone that would listen, including the Priests, and hoped that they would understand and act on what he was telling them so they also could receive the salvation from God. They heard but did not do.
In contrast, the bad people were considered the open sinners of the time such as the prostitutes, tax collectors, and any of the other people who were not considered spiritually clean based on the times. These people, when they heard the messages of Jesus, realized that the way they were living life was bad, and repented, and asked for forgiveness of the way they led their lives, and they were saved. They lived and were not obedient of God, but then they changed their thinking and did what Jesus had told them.
The good people knew what they should do, but did not do it. The bad made the choice not to follow the ways of God but then decided to do so. Which will enter the Kingdom of Heaven first? The ones that did God’s will. It takes more than to be good to enter the Kingdom.
We can apply this to today’s thinking. If you feel you are not worthy of the gift that Christ is giving you, you have already qualified to receive it. Jesus came to help the sinners, not the ones that consider themselves saints. We are all flawed, but to recognize that, is what Jesus wants from us. If you count yourself among to the good, you might already be in danger.
Always understand that we all have room to grow in Christ, which is a choice. All it takes to make a good person a saved person is an open mind and a heart that repents.