Which Son Are You?

Which Son Are You?

[Jesus said] “There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

Matthew 21:28-31

Jesus told this story to confront his listeners with the ugly truth that they were not as obedient to God as they thought they were. A father asked his sons to work in the vineyard. The first son said no but later changed his mind and went to work. The second son said yes but then never went to work.

Which of them did what his father wanted? The obvious answer is the first son because he eventually did what his father asked. The other son gave the right answer but did not do what he promised.

So, which son are you? Jesus’ story forces you to examine yourself. Do you ever say no to what God tells you to do? Have you ever been quick to say yes to God’s commands, only to continue in your sins as usual?

Jesus wants you to admit that you are like both sons. Neither of them really did what their father wanted them to do. Ideally, both sons would say and do the right thing right away.

That kind of son isn’t in the story. He is telling the story. Jesus is the eternal Son of God who became one of us. This Son always said yes to his Father and always did his will. He lived perfectly as the substitute for all the other sons and daughters. He gave his perfect life on the cross for them as a gift. He did all the work in his Father’s vineyard, and you received all the credit.

Whenever you are confronted with the ugly truth that you are not as obedient to God as you think you are and see the disobedience of both sons in your life, thank God for his perfect Son, Jesus, who takes away all your sin.


Lord Jesus, thank you for being obedient in my place and punished for my sins. Amen.