Matthew 21:28-32 1st Parable & Matthew 21:33-46 2nd Parable

Matthew 21:28-32 1st Parable & Matthew 21:33-46 2nd Parable

     We will look at the events of the life of Jesus on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before Easter. There were 2 parables spoken by Jesus and the message of the 7 woes on Tuesday. These two parables are more direct than some others because in two days, the crucifixion will take place. 

1st parable tells of a landowner, 2 sons, 2 responses, 1 question and 1 answer.

We are quick to assess the meaning of this parable to the Pharisees but not to us. Have you ever said, “ I wish so and so were here to hear this message.” This was for him or her. Point of the parable is obedience to the will of the Father.

1) Repentance and obedience will always be required to do the will of the Father (our sin nature must die).

2) Your actions, not words, determine the genuineness of your obedience.

3) Willful disobedience is lower in the eyes of the Father than those who profess nothing (tax collectors and prostitutes know they are sinful and make no profession of obeying the will of the Father). Hypocrisy is worse. My dad would say to me, “I expect that kind of behavior from someone else but not from you. You know better.”

 2nd parable deals with rejection/rebellion and the longsuffering of God

Verses 33-38 describes the vineyard owner, hedge around the vineyard, storage unit, watchmen and workers.

This parable tells us two important base truths.

1) The Lord is the creator and owner and 2) people are bad tenants.

How did the Pharisees know that Jesus was referring to them? Because they knew the similarity toIsaiah 5:1-8. This parable demonstrates the longsuffering of God to us. The history of the OT is a testimony to God’s patience. God sent prophet after prophet, a captivity, the return to Judah with more prophets and finally His Son. Note that the wicked tenants knew who the heir was v. 38. Pilate and Herod may not have known, but Pharisees did. The Pharisees knew the fate of the prophets that they now revere. Most all were killed for their messages. People know right from wrong but believe somehow they can escape the judgment by destroying the truth. Romans 1:25 is very clear. “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie,…” What does the landowner do? He destroys the tenants and gives it to another.


Jesus uses Psalm 118:22-23The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Peter also uses this same OT verse in Acts 4:11 speaking about the crippled man who was healed. Also note that the day before, Psalm 118:24-27 was fulfilled at the triumphal entry.

24 “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.”

 Why do people reject Jesus?

1) Some people do not think they need a savior. These people consider themselves to be “basically good.”                                                             2) The fear of social rejection or persecution deters some people from receiving Christ as Savior. “for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”
3) The things that the present world has to offer are more appealing than eternal things.                                                                                                       4) Many people are simply resisting the Holy Spirit’s attempts to draw them to faith in Christ. Stephen told those who were about to murder him, “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 7:51).

What lessons are taught in both parables. (2 positive and 2 negative)


1. Obedience to the will of the Father comes in actions not words-v. 31.

2. Obedience to the will of the Father has been given by many messengers and in many ways-v. 35-37. God always has a witness.

3. Obedience to the will of the Father is verified by what it produces-v. 43.

4. Obedience to the will of the Father does not come by religious activity-v. 45.

It would not be fair if God overlooked disobedience when the righteous obeyed. He would contradict His Word. Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

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