The Two Brothers is a parable about repentance. There is background information that is helpful for this account taken from Matthew 21. We are in Holy Week. In fact it’s already Tuesday of Holy Week. The Jewish leaders were on edge because on Monday Jesus had gone through the temple area and started flipping over tables. This was the second time that Jesus had done this. The leaders of God’s people had turned the temple into a den of robbers. They weren’t interested in the spiritual welfare of the pilgrims pouring into Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They were interested in making an extra buck or two!
So when Jesus is out and about on Tuesday, these same leaders come up to Jesus and challenge his authority. There are two parables that Jesus walks through. The first is the parable of the Two Sons. The second is the parable of the Vineyard. The first parable is about John the Baptist’s ministry. The second is about Jesus’ ministry. Both the herald of the King and the King himself were rejected by the Jewish leaders.
The problem is that they didn’t want to hear a call to repentance from John or Jesus. They were just fine without any help. Why, they had made all kinds of extra rules beyond what God has said because they thought this actually made the better. It is as though they thought just the outward appearance would be good enough for God. Of course that isn’t the case. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the perfect life that God demands. This is where repentance comes in. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the “good” son or the “bad” son. All that matters is that in the end, we seek forgiveness from our merciful God.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.
Please click HERE for the other lessons from our series Parabolic – A Study of Divine Stories.