SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 21:23-32
Jesus is questioned again by the chief priests and the elders while he was teaching at the temple courts about his authority. Jesus in turn asked them to answer one question first which was if John’s baptism was from heaven or from man. The elders conferred and couldn’t draw a good conclusion so they said they didn’t know. Thus, Jesus declined to answer their question since they could not answer his.
Jesus told the parable of the two sons. The father asked both sons to go to the vineyard to work for him. One said no, but went later in the day. The other son agreed to work, but never went. Jesus asks which of the two did what his father wanted. They answered the first. Jesus then says the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of heaven ahead of many for they believed John who showed the way of righteousness.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 3: Matthew 21:23-32
6a) They asked Jesus: “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus told them they must first answer a question he poses. Then he will answer their questions.
b) They were only taking into account the politics of their answer and what the people would think. They did not care what the real answer was to Jesus’s question. Since they couldn’t decide which answer would be better viewed by the people and would be “right” to say, they said they did not know. They did not care about the will of God.
7a) Probably in every aspect of my life. Really too many to say precisely.
b) Jesus has authority over the entire world. It should not be questioned.
8 ) The first son said no but had regrets and went later. This represents those who have accepted Jesus. The second son said yes but never went. The second son represents many Christians who and answer God’s call of “Will you follow me?” and they say “I will,” but in their hearts, they are not believers.
9) I’m more the first. My initial reaction is no because it’s usually something uncomfortable, but in the end, I follow. Human nature and sin prompt us to immediately say no.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 3: Matthew 21:23-32
I love the Parable of the Two Sons. How many of us do this? We say yes to God with no intention of following through.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 3: Matthew 21:23-32
Remember that the previous day Jesus had just cleansed the temple by throwing out the money lenders and price gougers. The priests were curious what right he had to do those things.
The answer to the question Jesus posed the religious leaders is the answer to the question of Jesus’s authority. The answer “men” would upset the crowd who revered John. The answer “heaven” would have shown them to be hypocrites since John believed Jesus to be the Messiah.
When the leaders failed to acknowledge Jesus’s authority, they rejected God at the same time.
God will reveal truth; all you have to do is ask.
Jesus knew this was another trap by the religious leaders. He had no compassion for them.
The Three Parables of God’s Judgment
- The Parable of the Two Sons
- The Parable of the Tenants
- The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Remember a parable is a story that aims to reveal truth in an understandable way. Jesus’s parables are merciful to the receptive and informative of your fate if you reject him. At each parable, the religious leaders could have repented. They did not.
The Parable of the Two Sons
Since the sons lived in the father’s household, it was expected they work for him. He asked the sons individually, not collectively. He addressed them as son.
The first son said no but had regrets and went later. (This represents all of humanity).
The second son said yes but never went. (This represents the teachers of the law who profess obedience to God, but don’t accept Christ).
Both rejected the father’s authority (the father is God in this story).
The second son represents many Christians who and answer God’s call of “Will you follow me?” and they say “I will,” but in their hearts, they are not believers. You will forever be lost without acceptance.
Actions are what matter, not your words.
Tax collectors and prostitutes were regarded as the lowest class. This should have made those who don’t follow Jesus repent.