The Parable of The Two Sons

Have you ever found yourself in a situation of either of the two sons in the parable? Probably you told someone you wouldn’t do something and you ended up doing it or you said you’d do it and you did? Does that sound like a situation you’re familiar with? It’s our usual thing to rush through the Parable of the Two Sons without noting the lessons in them. Stay with me!

The Parable of the Two Sons can be likened to a parable as well as a story and I must say it’s one of the relatable and profound stories or parables mentioned by Jesus in the scriptures as the lessons from it challenge its readers to reflect on their attitude. You can find this parable in Mathew 21:28-32. Let us delve deeper into the parable as we uncover the lessons from it.

The Parable of the Two Sons.

Matthew 21:28-30

[28]“But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
[29]The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway.
[30]Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go…

From the above, we can deduce that; The first son said ‘NO’ to the father, but changed his mind and went ahead to do the task assigned by the father whilst the second son who willingly accepted to go on the errand, didn’t go as said.

I’m putting the same question to you “Whom do you think did the will of the father?”

The Pharisees said it was the first son who initially refused, but later went to do the work. Do you have a contrary opinion?

Lessons from the Parable.

1. Action Speaks Volume Than Words

From the parable above, the son who refused to go gave the father the wrong impression with his reply, however, his actions changed the narrative when he followed through with the instruction of the father. On the other hand, the son who said he’ll go didn’t keep to his promise. In other words, it’s not enough to say the right things, our words must also be backed up with actions.

I can’t imagine what would have happened to the vineyard if none of them had gone.

2. The Importance of Repentance

As a believer, there’s always a call to repentance upon us. In the Parable of the Two Sons, it’s obvious that the son who refused to work saw that he had wronged his father by saying he wouldn’t go. Instead of sitting and wallowing in his wrong, he stood up, repented and went to work.

It follows that, whenever you’ve done something wrong, make the effort to right your wrong by admitting your mistake. It’s never too late to turn back to God. All you need is humility and willingness.

3. The Wrong in Hypocrisy

Here, the second son points to those who say the right things but do not follow their commitments to the end or who act innocent and obedient, when their true default is Hypocrisy.

Saying one thing and doing another gives a false sense of security. Just imagine the father thinking that “Wow, what a blessed son I’ve in my second son! Now, I can be rest assured that the vineyard would be tend to.”

Now, imagine what his disappointment would have been if his first son had not changed his mind. So, this is a call to you! You can deceive others, but you can never deceive yourself. Hence, don’t deceive yourself that you’re doing the right thing when you’re not. Learn Honesty in all you do.

4. Obedience is not Mandatory but Necessary

God won’t enforce you to obey him because obedience is a choice. Remember, when the first son refused, the father didn’t force him. However, he made a choice later and his actions showed that choice. Similarly, as a believer, you have a choice to obey or disobey God. But, for someone seeking to grow in Him, Obedience is a must and not a choice as it’s essential for our growth.

Thus, make it a duty to constantly obey Him and follow every of His decision for you, even when you don’t understand what it’s about or where it’s leading.

5. God’s Mercy And Grace

From the first son, we can see how he had another chance to repent to do what was right. This is to tell you that, He is always willing to accept you, forgive you and help you once you repent and turn back to Him. His grace and mercy have been freely given, so don’t be like the second son.


The Parable of the Two Sons might be a very short one but it teaches valuable lessons on repentance, grace, hypocrisy, obedience, Action, etc. Have you ever done a study on the Parable of The Two Sons? What were the lessons you learnt from there? Share with us in the comment section.

I pray that the Lord will give us the grace to match our words with our actions in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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