parable of the two sons bsf matthew

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 3: 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

  1. The Parable of the Two Sons
  2. The Parable of the Tenants
  3. 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.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 27:26-41

Summary of passage:  Isaac kissed his son.  He smelled Esau’s clothes and concluded this was Esau.

Isaac blessed Jacob, asking God to give him abundance and have the nations serve him and bow to him, have him be lord over his brothers and have those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

Esau returned from hunting and brought in the food to Isaac.  Isaac realizes he had been tricked by Jacob.  But it was too late.  Isaac cannot bless both.  He did not reserve another blessing.  Esau wept and Isaac tells him he will serve his brother and he will live away from the earth’s riches but eventually he will throw off Jacob’s yoke.


6a)  God will grant riches of the earth and an abundance of grain and wine.  Many nations will serve Jacob and people will bow down to him.  He will reign over his brothers and mother’s sons.  May those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

b)  God will punish the nation that enslaves His people (Genesis 15:14) but afterwards they will come out with great possessions.  Same as those who curse him be cursed.  Repeated in Genesis 12:3 where God says “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse.”

7a)  According to Webster’s dictionary, regret is “to mourn the loss or death of; to miss very much; to be sorry for.”  Repentance is “the act or process of repenting (to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to feel regret) for misdeeds or moral shortcomings.”

As you can see, their meaning are the same in a way.  Regret is more to feel sorry for what you did (or did not do).  Repentance is to feel sorry for what you did but also to resolve to change and it’s emphasis is more on sin.

b)  Esau is regretful.  He’s sorry for himself that he did stupid things like sell his birthright for a meal and marry unbelievers.  But he doesn’t change his ways. Immediately, he wants to kill his brother–for his mistakes (of selling the birthright) but also for God’s will as I’m sure they all knew the prophetic words revealed to Rebekah. His heart is not repentant at all.

Jacob is repentant.  He realizes he tricked his father and lied to him and I think he’s truly sorry.  God spoke to him afterwards and does not condemn his actions.  For He doesn’t need to as Jacob has learned his lesson.

8a)  It would have gone against God’s will as spoken to Rebekah (Genesis 25:23).  Esau was flippant and despised his birthright as we see in Genesis 25:29-34 when he sold his birthright for a meal.  Esau married Hittite women (Genesis 26:34) which would have jeopardized the raising of his sons in terms of faith in the Lord.  Esau wants to kill his brother (Genesis 27:41)–a direct violation of God’s law of murder.  He is vengeful and his heart is not God’s.  Definitely not something God wants in the line to Jesus.

b)  They doubt.  They sin when they know it’s wrong.  They have no desire to do God’s will here on earth. They are in the world instead of of the world.

c)  He’s a provider.  He brings home meat for the family.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I hope going in the right way.  I’m trying every day to be more like Jesus.  I’m trying to be in the Word as much as possible.  I’m trying to follow God’s purpose for my life.  I’m trying to raise my kids to know Him.  I’m trying to be a good wife and spouse to my husband.  We are at a turning point in our lives where we’re trying to plan for the future and put God at the center (both with our money and our hearts).  My husband and I are finally on the same page about this.  I pray I do His will every day.

9)  Isaac’s prophecy is:  Esau will dwell away from the earth’s riches.  He will live by the sword and will serve his brother.  But he will eventually throw off his brother’s yoke. During the Exodus, Moses asked to pass through Edom’s lands which they refused and so Israel turned from them (Numbers).  David conquered the Edomites (2 Samuel 8:14).

Edom did rebel against Judah (Israel) in 2 Kings 8:20-22.  Another war is depicted in 2 Kings 14:7 between Judah and Edom.  Another time Edom attacked Judah in 2 Chronicles 28:17.

Obadiah is where God has had enough of the Edomites and their sins against the Israelites.  God tells Israel to not abhor Edom for Edom is their brother (Deuteronomy 23:7) but when the Edomites cheer the fall of Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion and help plunder the city and prey on fleeing Israelites God says through Obadiah “There will be no survivors from the house of Esau” (verse 18).

God says “As you have done, it will be done to you” (verse 15).  Like I said BEFORE, the Edomites were obliterated from history when Rome conquered Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Conclusions:  Question 9 is almost the exact same as Question 4 on Lesson 21 except here they give us the passages and last week they did not.

I’m really struggling here.  I’m floundering to be precise.  So I’m praying through this. This repetition and re-wording of the questions with virtually the same concept is driving me mad to be honest with you.

I GET it!  I do.  Part of me feels like BSF doesn’t trust me to get it.  So I’m being bombarded with the same passages (which in my view is not really all that hard when compared to say Isaiah for instance).  So I’m spending 3 lessons on the same thing (and tomorrow is Hebrews!).

I’m no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination.  But I understand right and wrong and why Jacob was the chosen one (simple–cause God chose him and God can do whatever He wants) and why Esau wasn’t worthy, etc, etc, etc.

Instead of growing I feel stuck.  I’m at the point of skipping some classes to be honest with you.  The last two weeks have been difficult.  My group has fallen to half its normal size from September.  So has my kids’ classes.

I can’t remember ever feeling like this with BSF before.  So I’m praying.  That’s all I can do really.