21:29 “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. If the first son is identifiable as Jesus, the second son in this parable can be understood as Lucifer, his brother. Whether or not the chief priests and elders had any knowledge from traditional sources about the heavenly council in which the eternal plan was established from the foundation of the world,[40] that primal event would have been well known to the Savior and perhaps to his disciples and others of his contemporaries. Ruben Zimmermann (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 639–40. [36] In D, the second son says egō kurie hypagō (“I, Lord, I go down”) and occasionally others, including Θ 0233 f13, will likewise supply the verb in “I go down,” which seems to be implied but which then renders the pronoun egō superfluous, except for added emphasis—which is still consistent with my point. People who do not know the Lord are believing and turning from the … This verb is translated simply as “went” in the KJV in Matthew 21:29, 30. It does not mean “I will not, or shall not.” Ou thelō is a present-tense verb, meaning “I don’t want to,” or “I don’t wish to,” or “I’d rather not,” or, idiomatically, “Not (ou) [what or as] I will (thelō).” In Elizabethan English, “I will not” could mean “I do not will it,” as does the Latin nolo, but this is not how modern readers hear this crucial word. With the foregoing in mind, I suggest that readers might most meaningfully look at this parable through a spiritual or anagogical lens. Anagogically involved here is no ordinary father, no ordinary vineyard, and no ordinary pair of sons. These two sons were both offered their commission to “go” by way of commandment from the Father. The theme of the parable is grace toward the prodigal. IN REPLY TO THE QUESTIONS AS TO HIS AUTHORITY, JESUS GIVES THE THIRD GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. In the end it becomes clear that this father is not just their father, but God the Father. [16] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010), 251. [28] Most manuscripts say that the father went first to the son who eventually goes and is referred to as “the first.” This reading is most widely supported in the early New Testament manuscripts, and I follow it here. Parable of Two Sons (Matthew 21:23-32) Sunday School Lesson for Kids. As always, true authority can only be maintained by virtue of humility, long-suffering, kindness, and love unfeigned, exercised for the glory and honor of the Father, as exemplified by his First and eternally willing Son. ... ACTIVITY: The Parable Of The Two Sons Materials needed: three 2" x 12" strips of tan construction paper, crayons, markers, tape. I disagree that “this is little more than an expanded proverb” employed as a “parable of judgment.”[16]. Let's take a look at 3 key points from this story of the Bible. Matt. The parable begins in verse 11 (ESV): And He (Jesus) said, “There was a man who had two sons.” These two sons personify the audiences to whom Jesus spoke (cf. ; surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1; emphasis added). Lord.”[37] All of these are possibilities. . He seems caught up with the fact that he had been called. Those having divine authority may need to repent or change their attitude in order to accommodate themselves to do what God wants, not what they might want. because he saith, Whither I go (hypagō), ye cannot come” (John 8:22); “It is expedient for you that I go away (apelthō)” (John 16:7). The first son “goes away” or “departs from” (apēlthen) the Father’s presence. Indeed, the first son initially answered the Father’s request by saying, “Ou thelō,” which the KJV translates as “I will not” (emphasis added). He refuses, … The Man With Two Sons is God, Our Father, and We Are God’s Sons. This made the Pharisaical teachers of religious law complain that Jesus was associating with such despicable people – even eating with them.” . Going to the other, he [the Father] said the same. The chief priests and the elders come to Jesus and ask him, "By what authority are you doing these things? He was eager at first, but in the end he would not serve his father. If that was all that was intended by Jesus, a simpler story involving only one son who at first disregarded his father’s wishes but then changed his mind might have been sufficient and more appropriate in showing that those sinners had ultimately done the right thing by repenting and following John. This also is the first word in the parables of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30) and the prodigal son (Luke 15:11). ?” “I will do it;” I want the glory! When they were unwilling to respond, Jesus used this as an opportunity to address the fundamental issue of authority. The two brothers were each other's keeper. In a small minority of manuscripts, another version of this parable likewise has the father approach the ultimately willing son first, but in the end he is called not “the first” but “the last” or “the least” (ho eschatos). Indeed, this two-level reading allows that Jesus marvelously answered both of the questions raised by his interlocutory lawyer—not only the more definitional question, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29), but also the lawyer’s more seminal initial inquiry, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). [2] See, generally, Ruben Zimmermann and Gabi Kern, eds., Hermeneutik der Gleichnisse Jesu (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008); Stefan Nordgaard Svendsen, Allegory Transformed: The Appropriation of Philonic Hermeneutics in the Letter of the Hebrews (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009). Indeed, when the chief priests and elders refused to answer Jesus’ question about the origins of John the Baptist’s admittedly lesser authority than Jesus’ asserted Melchizedek authority (Psalm 110:1–4), Jesus at first said to them, “Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things” (21:27; emphasis added), thereby setting aside the first of the chief priests’ two questions. There is deeper meaning behind the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible outside of the lessons from the single son. Because of this symbolic element, it is often suggested that this parable should be read nationally, as a statement about God’s two ethnic sons, so to speak, the Israelites and the Gentiles: one of the sons (Israel) said (and covenanted) that he would do what God wanted but then did not, while the other (the Gentiles, or the publicans and the harlots) said he would not go, but reconsidered and did go. Although he declined to say directly by what authority he did these things (see 21:27), he immediately[13] went on to answer their question indirectly by giving this trenchant parable about two sons—one of whom ultimately was willing and the other not. The phrase “I shall not” would have been the correct translation of expression of future intent in the first person, whereas “I will not” expressed desire “as far as one has the power” (Fowler). [12] Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 1980), 161. No wonder even that first son might need to think things over a bit. Moreover, it is unclear which group was actually asked by John the Baptist first. Actions Speak Louder Than Words…God’s Speak Loudest of All …. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. The ruler gave each servant talents according to his abilities. John W. Welch, “Symbolism in the Parable of the Willing and Unwilling Two Sons in Matthew 21,” in Let Us Reason Together: Essays in Honor of the Life’s Work of Robert L. Millet, ed. )Subdivision B. With these general thoughts as guiding principles, consider first the setting of this short parable, which comes at a crucial moment in Matthew’s Gospel narrative. This word, along with the Father’s command, “go down” (hypage),[31] may call to mind the condescension or incarnation of Jesus leaving his Father’s presence. Moreover, strong readings make use of all the elements, not just a few selected elements, in the text or work being interpreted. Likewise, it is not that the Lord “repented that he had made Saul king over Israel” (1 Samuel 15:35), but rather that he felt sorrowful or regretful (metemelēthē). [26] Liddell, Scott, Jones, Greek-English Lexicon, 1875. A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. Lord.” “I will gladly go?” “OK, I will [grudgingly] go?” or “I get to go! In response to favorable portrayals, readers or viewers should go and do likewise, whereas unfavorable conduct embedded in negative depictions is to be eschewed. At the literal, factual level, this is a story of a man. Those with authority do not take that authority upon themselves but are “called of God, as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5:4). The moral or ethical. [1] Robert L. Millet and James C. Christensen, Parables and Other Teaching Stories (Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1999), 7. Most manuscripts call him “the other” (ho heteros),[34] while some call him “the second (ho deuteros).”[35] This son stood in utter contrast to the first, as in the expression “on the one hand, or on the other hand.” He is more than numerically second; he also stands in contradistinction, being the “other,” being of another mind or having some other purpose. New Year New Life (FREE) Sample Lesson Indeed, it always helps to read the parables of Jesus not only historically and practically but also symbolically and sublimely. 202), Clement of Alexandria (death c. AD 215), and onwards. 21:28-32. [39] While not exactly the same as in this parable, certain similarities are unmistakable. At the broader ethical level, this parable gives helpful domestic guidance to all sons and daughters on how they ought to behave. Here, figures and scenarios are laid for purposes of comparison beside other figures, groups, or developments. The Parable of Two Sons is about obedience and disobedience. Timing was important for the coming of Christ. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 1988), 41, 46; Hugh W. Nibley, “Treasures in the Heavens: Some Early Christian Insights into the Organizing of Worlds,” Dialogue 8, no. 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