PARABLES ON OBEDIENCE
2 Builders Mt 7:24-27; Lk 6:46-49
2 Sons Mt 21:28-32
I. Background to the Parables
a. Jesus told this story/teaching to His disciples and the multitude at the conclusion of the “sermon on the mount,”
which was primarily a discussion of righteousness (life in the kingdom), Mt 5:20.
b. The parable of the 2 sons was told primarily to the chief priests and elders in the temple during the last week of
Jesus’ ministry, Mt 21:23, following their “test” of Him.
2. Definitions/Cultural Insights
a. Authority: the right to do lead/teach… It was frequently an issue between the leaders and Jesus, Mk 2:7, 16, 24...
II. Understanding the Parables
1. Jesus taught… as a summary and application to the “sermon” that there are 2
kinds of people:
a. Those that hear and obey/act upon what He says. They are called wise, because their lives have a solid
foundation - the words of Jesus, Mt 7:24-25.
b. Those that hear and do not obey/act upon the words of Jesus. They are called foolish, because their lives have
an unstable foundation, which cannot endure the “storms of life,” Mt 7:26-27.
2. Jesus taught… what true obedience was.
a. The son who said, “I will” and then did not was not obedient. This represents most of the chief priests and elders, Mt 21:32.
c. The son who said, I will not” and then regretted it and did what the father asked represents the tax-gatherers and harlots,
III. Consideration and Application of the Parables
1. When Jesus Speaks… listen
In each parable, even before the people obeyed or disobeyed, they listened. As the one who is God’s final spokesman,
Heb 1:1-4, with words of life, Jn 6:63, we should be committed to carefully listening to Jesus. Who do listen to most - Jesus,
the preacher, the news, your friends…? When their words are different from Christ’s - who will you listen to?
2. When You Hear Jesus… just do it (obey)
It may seem like obedience is hard, but to obey is best; after all who knows what’s best for you, the Creator or the created?
James also challenges us to hear and do God’s will, Js 2:22. Why would you choose not to obey - it’s too hard, you look
foolish…? But think about where disobedience leads - to instability and eventually, destruction, Mt 7:27.
3. Great Blessings… are for the obedient
Jesus referred to stability in the storms of life, James promised that when we obey we are blessed, Js 1:25. In fact - Jesus
is the author of salvation for those who obey Him, Heb 5:8-9. Could there be any greater blessing than eternal salvation?
Is there anything on earth that compares to the blessings Christ offers the faithfully obedient? Are not riches, power,
prestige… all temporary compared to the eternal nature of salvation in Christ, 1 Pet 1:3-9? What are the most important
commands to obey, perhaps love God, love people, live by repentant, obedient, working faith… Mt 22:37-39;
Acts 2:38; Js 2:14-17…
4. The Disobedient… can become obedient
The “obedient” or “faithful” are those who do the right thing, even if they first disobey. Those who hear, experience
remorse (sorrow to repentance, 2 Cor 7:9), believe and obey are the “righteous,” not those who say the right things, but in
real life disobey God. Are you saying “Yes” to God, and disobeying, or when you disobey, do you experience remorse
and in faith, obey? One leads to life, the other to death, 2 Cor 7:10-11.
IV. Memory Verses - Mt 7:24-25