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Parables Of Jesus Christ: True Obedience

The Messiah's parable of true obedience:

"21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not." (Matthew 21:28-30 KJV)

The one son "obeyed" his father with words, but failed to do so in deed. He was a hypocrite. The other son at first rebelled, but later repented and obeyed his father in word and deed. What was the meaning of the parable? Who did the two sons represent?

"21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father?

They say unto him, The first.

Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the Publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." (Matthew 21:31-32 KJV)

"Whether of them twain did the will of his father?"

The parable is about obedience to God, true obedience, not being a self-righteous hypocrite who "honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me" (verse 8, below).

The Way

"15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees [see also Was Paul Among Them?], which were of Jerusalem, saying, 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? [see Did Jesus Break The Law?] for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:1-9 KJV)

The even greater hypocrisy is that the religious phonies of that time (just as they still do today i.e. the attitude of much of the merely Christian-professing world, Roman Catholic and "Protestant," toward the true Church of God - see The Cure For The Carnal Mind) accused those who did truly obey God of being sinners.

"23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries [see Frontlets and Phylacteries], and enlarge the borders of their garments [see The Fringes Of His Garment], 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth [see The Holy Father]: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matthew 23:5-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What was the purpose of the religious authorities not being able to understand the truth? What made them innocent? Why did Jesus say "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" in Luke 23:34? (b) When were (or will) those in (a) no longer innocent - and therefore accountable to truly repent and obey God?
(a) See Why Can't 'The Chosen People' See?
(b) See The Unpardonable Sin

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