At the literal, factual level, this is a story of a man. The father also goes to his second son and tells him the same thing, to which the son says, 'I go, sir,' but then he did not go. This is the first word he says. In any case, the prefix hyp- (from the preposition hypo, under) in composition conveys some sense of being “under, as well of rest as of motion,” or, interestingly, “of the agency or influence under which a thing is done, to express subjection or subordination.”[26] Moreover, in being asked to go, the two sons were told when and where they were to serve—today, and in the vineyard—so their authority was specific. Indeed, the first son initially answered the Father’s request by saying, “Ou thelō,” which the KJV translates as “I will not” (emphasis added). In fact, the Father’s command to his first son, “go down” (hypage), which says more than just “go,” as in the KJV, and thus invites the listener to understand this dialogue as having transpired somewhere above. . This verb is translated simply as “went” in the KJV in Matthew 21:29, 30. [30] On the importance in this parable of doing the will of the father, see Olmstead, Matthew’s Trilogy of Parables, 100–105, 108. In response to this question, Jesus tells The Parable of the Tenants. Except in a few NT manuscripts,[36] the other son simply says egō, kurie, “I, Lord.” In ordinary parlance, this might sound something like “Yes, sir.” But in an anagogical mode, the pronoun egō adds connected significance. And he answering said, ‘I, Lord!’ And he did not go.”[27] The differences between this rendition of the Greek and the usual English translations of this text—which is clearly much more than a fable—may be explicated as follows: In the Greek, it is more evident that Jesus is casting himself as the first of these two sons. 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). The most widely supported Greek texts literally read as follows: “A man had two sons, and going to the first he said, ‘Go down this day to work in the vineyard.’ He answered, ‘Not as I will,’ but then reconciling himself to the task he went. Or it may be that the willing son could be seen as both the first and the last, or as having reduced himself to the least in the kingdom of heaven. 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. Immediately after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he went straight to the temple, knocked over the tables of the overreaching merchants and money changers, miraculously healed the blind and the lame, and was heralded by children (21:12–16). Being called “the first” and “the last” evokes Isaiah 44:6; 48:12; Revelation 1:17; and 22:13: “I am the first, and I am the last.” Either way, this submissive, obedient son is the one who does the will of his Father. And without a further point of reference in connection with the dual story, the chief priests and elders would well have been left puzzling when they had not done what they had specifically said they would do? [22] The King James Version chose to supplement the text by inserting the word his in italics, when Jesus asks, “Whether of them twain did the will of his father?” (21:31). Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you." There he was accosted by the chief priests and the elders of the people, who challenged him, demanding to know, “By what authority doest thou these things?” and “Who gave thee this authority?” (21:23). When they were unwilling to respond, Jesus used this as an opportunity to address the fundamental issue of authority. Here, figures and scenarios are laid for purposes of comparison beside other figures, groups, or developments. 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). But this form of the parable is “inferior” to the first. In the parable of the Two Sons, another parable unique to Matthew's Gospel, the father calls one son first to go work in the vineyard. But, in any event, this parable clearly answered the question, “Who gave thee this authority?” (namely, God the Father); and it even hints at when and where that happened (namely, in the divine council, where two sons were involved). Consistent with this allegorical reading, it is clear that Jesus intended the chief priests and elders to see themselves and their own failure to do the will of the Father in this little parable, as Jesus concluded this part of his conversation with them by saying, “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:31), and by extension this point of judgment would fall upon anyone else who had rejected John. 21:28-32. [27] I first suggested this reading in “‘Thy Mind, O Man, Must Stretch,’” BYU Studies 50, no. (Matthew 21:28-31, NIV) In Jesus Parable of the Two Sons, who was represented by the first son? The second son says “yes,” but does not do what he was asked. [32] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene A. Nida, eds., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, 2nd ed. The domain of this social approach is the “ought,” and it adds to the discussion the implications of cultural mores and expectations. 21:30 “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. [15] See Peter Balla, The Child-Parent Relationship in the New Testament and Its Environment (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003), 126. 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. [39] See generally Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Ronan James Head, “Mormonism’s Satan and the Tree of Life,” Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology 4, no. He proved He is worthy of our trust and love, and we can live in joy because of that. Outwardly, they were pious and appeared to be people of God, but God knew their heart, and it was in their hearts that they failed miserably. Having challenged Jesus’ authority, the chief priests and elders found their own authority challenged. A strong reading is grounded in close attention to details. As he usually did, Jesus answered their affront with a question of his own: “The baptism of John [the Baptist], whence was it?” he asked. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (London: Oxford University Press, 1926), 729. Jesus, however, simply “answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27), adding, “Father, thy will be done” (Moses 4:2; emphasis added). 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). While some … [6] These symbolical readings do not diminish or supplant ordinary, plain, practical readings of the parables. . In some situations we even surrendered on... 2. [40] They may have known of the pattern of authoritative callings and the heavenly council from several passages, including 1 Kings 22:19–23; Psalms 82:1; 110:3; Isaiah 9:5 LXX; Jeremiah 23:18; Daniel 7:9–14; Amos 3:7; 1 Enoch 12:3–4. The Parable Of Two Sons is a Parable Of Jesus From The Bible, From Matthew 21:28-32. “I what? The anagogical. These words were used by Jesus himself in referring to his own going away or departure, as a euphemism for his impending death and descent into the spirit prison: “Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Moreover, the second and only other word (kurie) in his reply to his father a bit stiffly calls his own father “Lord,” which may well convey an underlying sentiment that for that son this matter was not primarily about close personal love or filial devotion. The Man With Two Sons is God, Our Father, and We Are God’s Sons. The younger one said to him, “Father, give me my share of … Whether he was not allowed to go or took himself out of the running, the outcome was the same. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. [4] Thus, for example, second-century Christian readers and exegetes linked “the man going down” and his “falling among robbers” with Adam and the Fall in Genesis; the robbers were seen as symbolizing the minions of Satan; and the Samaritan was interpreted as a reference by Jesus Christ to himself as the one who rescues. 3–4 (1973), 76–98, reprinted in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, 1:171–214 (see p. 174); see generally E. Theodore Mullen Jr., The Divine Council in Canaanite and Early Hebrew Literature (Chico, CA: Scholars, 1980). And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Use the Parable Of Two Sons Multiple Choice as a fun activity for your next children's sermon. But it seems to me that more must be involved here. [24] The sons were thus called to serve by and with authority directly from the divine principal whom they would serve. It's amid this turmoil that Jesus offers the little-known Parable of the Two Sons. In what did you believe and trust? Ruben Zimmermann (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 639–40. [37] Compare Moses 4:1, “and surely I will do it; where give me thine honor.” It would not appear here that Satan approached God first, for the first son, the Father’s “Beloved Son,” who had been “Chosen from the beginning,” said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2). Moreover, it is unclear which group was actually asked by John the Baptist first. . These two responses typify the contrast between the course of self-interested unrighteousness and the way of submissive righteousness in answering a call from God. 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. To summarize, the youngest of the two sons demands his share of his father’s estate which the father gives him. 202), Clement of Alexandria (death c. AD 215), and onwards. Nevertheless, the Greek reads, “Which of the two did the will of the father (epoiēsen to thelēma tou patros)?” (emphasis added). [30] These words in Matthew 21:29 take on an elevated meaning when the “first son” is taken as referring to Jesus himself. And seen allegorically, the Jewish leaders, unlike the first son, had not felt any need to adjust their preferences or change their minds (oude metamelēthēte), let alone repent, as even the publicans and harlots had done when they saw John the Baptist “in the way of righteousness” (21:32). The son who—even though he was openly rebellious and nasty— afterward he regretted it and changed his mind and did the will of the father. In response to favorable portrayals, readers or viewers should go and do likewise, whereas unfavorable conduct embedded in negative depictions is to be eschewed. 3 (2011): 71. And he came to the second, and said likewise. The Parable of the Two Sons. The onerous burden of the work asked by the Father seems to have given even the ultimately submissive first son ample reason for pause. To carry out their assignment with authority they need to be in tune with the will of the one who has sent them. Deeply valuable symbolism is thoroughly embedded in two of Jesus’ parables, both of which begin, “A certain man had two sons.” The more famous of these two is commonly called parable of the prodigal son, found in Luke 15. [13] Commentators often assert that this parable has been taken out of its original context in some Galilean village setting and inserted here, where it does not really belong. The parable of the prodigal son; sometimes termed “the lost son” as narrated by Jesus himself (Luke 15: 11-32); is one that shows God's incomprehensible mercy and love. The Parable of Two Sons is about obedience and disobedience. [25] Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, and Henry Stuart Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968), 1850. Several significant factual or cultural points are embedded in this instructive story. A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. This invitation came, not as a polite request, but as an imperative, literally, “go [age] down [hyp-]” (hypage, Matthew 21:28; the father said the same to the second son in 21:30). [11] This type of thinking has a parallel in the four progressively better types of seeds in the parable of the sower, or the four types of learners who go to study Torah. Parable of Two Sons (Matthew 21:23-32) Sunday School Lesson for Kids. The first son says “no,” but does the father’s will. But thelō is not a future-tense verb. The Parable of the Two Sons. Furthermore, strong readings explain or ameliorate elements that otherwise appear as if they do not fit with the rest of the parable. Tuesday, April 4, A. D. Sometimes these paralleling referents are transparent and obvious; other times, and for various reasons, the allegorical counterparts are more obscure and esoterically coded. A Summary Of The Parable Of Two Sons Is Presented, Along with A Reflection On The Parable. Lord.”[37] All of these are possibilities. 185 Heber J. ?” “I will do it;” I want the glory! New Year New Life (FREE) Sample Lesson In Zechariah 11:5, “repent” (metemelonto) parallels “sorrow” (epaschon). PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS. However, this parable is introduced by the question, “But what think ye?” (ti de hymin dokei, “but how then would it seem to you?”) which is a common introductory question used in various forms (such as ti oun, “what then?” or ti de, “but what about?”) in the dialogues of Plato, where Socrates uses this expression to continue a line of questioning or to press forward with a discussion, as for example, ti soi dokei, “how does it seem to you?” in Phaedo 96e5, John Burnet, ed., Platonis Opera (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967). As he was being challenged there in the temple by the highest authorities in Jerusalem about his own authority, this was not the time for him to deliver a homely description of family behaviors. For a long time, I thought the theme of the … In so doing, this story calls to mind events in the Council in Heaven, where a Father indeed had two very different sons and where Jesus received his commission and authority from the Father. 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. [12] Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 1980), 161. There was a man who had two sons. 21:29 “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The chief priests and the elders come to Jesus and ask him, "By what authority are you doing these things? In explicating this lesser-known of the two-sons parables, I hope to honor and recognize Robert L. Millet for his consummate willingness to do the will of the Father and to go down this day to work in his vineyard, wherever the needs may be found. This was Jesus’ first teaching in the temple after his triumphal entry, and this short parable effectively took this crucial question of authority all the way back to fundamental principles, not only to the current unwillingness (or inability) of the chief priests to answer the question about the source of John’s authority but also beyond that to things pertaining to the foundation of the world relevant to the source of Jesus’ and all true authority. And they will go in before those who say yes, but don’t obey God, like the second son. In addition, one further tool was given to the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith. The third son both says “yes” and does what he was asked. Jesus had spent the better part of the last three years demonstrating with signs and wonders where His authority came from, but the religious establishment didn’t really want to know. To my mind, all of Jesus’ parables are to be read at multiple levels. The Gospel for this Sunday, as we saw, speaks of two sons, but behind them, in a mysterious way, is a third son. The parable of the two sons emphasizes this point, and we want to let children know that they ought to live out their love in real ways. Regarding his oath and covenant of the Melchizedek priesthood in Psalm 110:4, the Lord promises that he “will never change his mind” (ou metamelēthsetai). The point of the parable is clear. Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32) Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21:33-41) The Great Commandment is a Great Framework (Matthew 22:34-40) Parable of the Faithful Servant (Matthew 24:45-51) The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30) Sometimes called mystical, spiritual, or doctrinal, the anagogical reading highlights heavenly things and especially draws connections between patterns in this life and truths pertaining to the life beyond this mortal realm. In the end it becomes clear that this father is not just their father, but God the Father. This story “expects that listeners should pronounce judgment upon the son who did not obey,” for children in this world were “expected to honour [their] parents.”[15] One son eventually does this; the other does not. In Acts 2:23, Peter’s text assumes that his audience on the day of Pentecost was familiar with the idea of God’s primordial council (boulēi) and foreknowledge (prognōsei) that sent Jesus to his fate. [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. In the end, whatever the chief priests and elders knew about the traditional teachings of God’s heavenly council, or whether they could have surmised the implications of the dichotomous two-sons typology that permeates much of scripture,[41] they did not have ears to hear on this occasion. In this context, what does this word egō entail? (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1972), 80–81. 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. On that occasion the Father asked, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Actions Speak Louder Than Words…God’s Speak Loudest of All …. the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but [of] the Father” (John 14:10). Cursing the fig tree. 28 “What do you think? He had two sons whom he loved more than anything else. An attentive reader can see in Jesus’ answer a number of elevated doctrinal points about the nature of authority received from God in general and about Jesus’ authority in specific. [38] Recalling to mind that not everyone who simply says, “Lord, Lord [kurie, kurie] shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21). UT: Ashgate, 2009), The Legal Cases in the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2007), and “The Good Samaritan: A Type and Shadow of the Plan of Salvation” (1999) when this was written. He seems caught up with the fact that he had been called. Just as the two boys in my story, one son answered, "No," but went and worked. . Many things had been put in place for the Son of God to appear in the flesh at the promised and prophesied time, and people in Jerusalem were counting down the days and years for the fulfillment of the prophecy given in the book of Daniel, to say nothing of the prophecies given in the Book of Mormon. 28 “What do you think? 4. The domain of this comparative approach is typically the “horizontal,” and it thrives on comparative and analogical reasoning. I disagree that “this is little more than an expanded proverb” employed as a “parable of judgment.”[16]. It’s a really easy craft and you get a nice prop that the kid can … [7] Notably C. H. Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1961), 4–5. By asking these questions, they were looking for a way to discredit Him. Stop comparing yourself. With a little further reflection, they may also have perceived that Jesus had spoken of himself as the first son in the immediately preceding parable of the willing and unwilling two sons. authority of that man” (D&C 121:37). [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. A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'. The first son “goes away” or “departs from” (apēlthen) the Father’s presence. This made the Pharisaical teachers of religious law complain that Jesus was associating with such despicable people – even eating with them.” Jesus taught openly, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38), and at the Last Supper, only a few days after his triumphal entry in to Jerusalem and his confrontation with the chief priests and elders in the temple, Jesus affirmed to his disciples, “I am in the Father, and the Father [is] in me. Indeed, all art (whether visual or verbal) can be seen as analog, for without analogy, one has artifacts or artifice but not art. ; surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1; emphasis added). Those with authority do not take that authority upon themselves but are “called of God, as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5:4). At a deep level, this parable calls to mind a particular dichotomy of enduring eternal character and consequence. September 21, 2020 by Kristin Schmidt. (In the Court of the Temple. Here one finds a strong reading of this text, conceptually engaging all of its elements. A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’. In Gethsemane, as the Savior reconciled and submitted himself to the will of the Father, he said, “not my will [mē to thelēma mou] but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Of course it is the first son. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. In approaching this or any other parable of Jesus, as Bob has elegantly and cogently written, one needs to be alert to the fact that every communication may contain several symbols that convey, intentionally or unintentionally, multiple levels of meaning: “Some of the messages are crystal clear, while others are intentionally veiled,” depending on “the openness and spiritual receptivity of the listeners.” Furthermore, “a parable can have many applications.”[1] Each element in the parables of Jesus works as an analog, as one thing representing, or “re-presenting,” something else. In fact, logically, the comparative failure of the Jewish leaders to do the will of God has nothing to do with Jesus’ authoritative empowerment to do or to say all the things he was teaching and doing. In most manuscripts, at the end of the story in verse 31, he is called “the first” (ho prōtos). For discussions of the textual variants, see Olmstead, Matthew’s Trilogy of Parables, 167–76, and the editorial comments reported by Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London: United Bible Societies, 1971), 55–56; see also Hultgren, Parables of Jesus, 218–19. [14] The male gender of these children becomes clear in the male adjectives, “the first” and “the other.”. 2. [38] For whatever reason, that son did not go. Much less frequently, this word refers to repentance (Proverbs 5:11). Thus the use of the definite article in the question, “which did the will of the father” at least invites an anagogical reflection, seeing the father and willing son in this parable as representing Jesus and his Father in Heaven. And at the level of moral persuasion, this parable serves very well in this regard. A Parable of Two Sons Luke 15:1-2, 11-32 “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. In Jesus' parable of the two sons, the father asked both sons to go and work in his vineyard. Jesus’ parable told the priests that they'd claimed to accept the message from God but they'd failed to live up to it by being obedient. [29] Doing the Father’s will (thelēma—which is the noun cognate to the verb thelō) is a central theme in the Gospel of Matthew leading up to Christ’s teaching in this parable and immediately beyond (see Matthew 6:10; 7:21; 12:50; 18:14; 26:42). Lessons for the church about the parable of the two sons 1. The two brothers were each other's keeper. [16] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010), 251. Website by The Website Branch New York, "Lord, Increase Our Faith" (We Cannot Win Without You), Seven Things You Should Know About Destiny Helpers, Prayer Points for Light to Shine in Your Situation, Why You Should Respect The Anointing on A Man or Woman of God, Prayer Points to Arrest the Agenda of the Enemy. 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