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The Parable of the Two Sons

By Pastor Greeko Villanueva


Matthew 21:28-32

“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.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 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. 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.”


-There were two kinds of people, sinners (tax collectors and harlots) and pharisees (religious and self-righteous)

-The sinners were rebellious but repentant.

-There is a relationship between the father and the two sons.

-Their responsibility is to work in the father’s vineyard.

-The response of the two sons differ: obedience vs. non-obedience.

-First son did not want to obey, but changed his mind and obeyed.

-Second son said yes but did not do as he said.

-Genuine salvation produces good fruit; repentance from sin and obedience to God then serving Him in the Kingdom.

3 points you can learn from this parable:

  1. Repentance (v. 29) - Why is repentance important? Matthew 7:21-23 says ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” These things cannot take you to heaven. What will take you to heaven is having the right relationship with the Lord. If you have this, repentance, holiness, righteousness and purity will follow. Repentance is a daily process because you sin daily. It is a gift and a lifestyle, not a one-time event. Spiritual gifts are but tools that God uses to advance His Kingdom effectively and powerfully. The thing that disqualifies people from entering the Kingdom of God is their practice of lawlessness. The Greek word for practice is “ergazomai,” meaning tow work, exercise, perform and commit that it already becomes a lifestyle. “Practicing” the sin means enjoying it to the point that it becomes an iniquity. Repentance means “to feel such remorse or regret for past conduct as to change one’s mind regarding it.” The Greek word for repentance is “metaneo,” meaning to change one’s mind. True repentance means a change of direction, from your old ways to God’s ways. It is a 180 degree turn around. Repentance is also confessing your sins and forsaking them. (1John 1:9, Proverbs 28:13, 1 Timothy 2:19)

  2. Obedience (v.31) - When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you must follow Him. To do the will of the Father means to obey Him. Obedience to God’s will demonstrates your genuine love fo Him. if you are a real Christian and you have a relationship with God, you will not only say you love Him but also live by His word. The Bible says God’s sheep hear His voice and follow Him. One of the greatest expressions of your love for God is your obedience to His word. (Deuteronomy 28, Isaiah 1:19, John 14:15, 1 Samuel 15:22-23, Hebrews 11:8, Isaiah 1:20, Romans 6:23) If you are going to obey, go all the way! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and strengthen you and out of this, obedience will come.

  3. Service (v.28) - The Bible tells you when you should work. Do not wait for any confirmation. Just obey and serve. You do not serve because of money or for anything else. It is an honor and privilege to be invited in the vineyard of God’s kingdom. What qualifies you to work and serve in the ministry? It is not your educational background, your fame, the money in your bank account or anything else. It is only God’s grace that qualifies you. You were chosen. The one who obeys, loves and serves is the one who is truly blessed.

God loves you that is why He calls you. He calls and qualifies you. He calls you to serve Him. Your service is the result of your relationship with Him. You will not mature if you do not serve Him. Psalms 100:2 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing.” If you serve, you worship. 1 Peter 4:10 also says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms...”You should use whatever gifts God gave you to serve others. Whether they are natural or developed gifts, its purpose is to glorify the Lord, to serve God’s people and to build up the body of Christ. God will use you no matter what your status in life is. Let Him use you.

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