The Parable of the Two Sons. Indeed, it always helps to read the parables of Jesus not only historically and practically but also symbolically and sublimely.  Joseph Smith, “To the Elders of the Church of the Latter Day Saints,” Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, December 1835, 225–30. Whether he was not allowed to go or took himself out of the running, the outcome was the same. The son says he does not want to, but he winds up working on it anyway. In fact, the Father’s command to his first son, “go down” (hypage), which says more than just “go,” as in the KJV, and thus invites the listener to understand this dialogue as having transpired somewhere above. )Subdivision B. If that was all that was intended by Jesus, a simpler story involving only one son who at first disregarded his father’s wishes but then changed his mind might have been sufficient and more appropriate in showing that those sinners had ultimately done the right thing by repenting and following John. Provo, UT 84602
The third son both says “yes” and does what he was asked. They had recently come-of-age and now had their own budding households. And seen allegorically, the Jewish leaders, unlike the first son, had not felt any need to adjust their preferences or change their minds (oude metamelēthēte), let alone repent, as even the publicans and harlots had done when they saw John the Baptist “in the way of righteousness” (21:32). Being called “the first” and “the last” evokes Isaiah 44:6; 48:12; Revelation 1:17; and 22:13: “I am the first, and I am the last.” Either way, this submissive, obedient son is the one who does the will of his Father. Immediately after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he went straight to the temple, knocked over the tables of the overreaching merchants and money changers, miraculously healed the blind and the lame, and was heralded by children (21:12–16). At the end of that momentous day, after spending the night with friends in the nearby village of Bethany, he returned the next morning to the temple (21:17, 23). Many things help make this early Christian understanding of the parable of the good Samaritan plausible, elegant, and instructive. Brigham Young University
Deeply valuable symbolism is thoroughly embedded in two of Jesus’ parables, both of which begin, “A certain man had two sons.” The more famous of these two is commonly called parable of the prodigal son, found in Luke 15. The son who—even though he was openly rebellious and nasty— afterward he regretted it and changed his mind and did the will of the father. A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'. The two sons parable, taught by Jesus Christ, demands that you LET GO of whatever religion you trust, and cling to him alone (Luke 17:33). I will redeem all mankind . Unlike the meek and obedient Son of Man and too much like the second son in the parable, they refused to accept God’s emissaries and do the will of the Father. This verb is translated simply as “went” in the KJV in Matthew 21:29, 30. In approaching this or any other parable of Jesus, as Bob has elegantly and cogently written, one needs to be alert to the fact that every communication may contain several symbols that convey, intentionally or unintentionally, multiple levels of meaning: “Some of the messages are crystal clear, while others are intentionally veiled,” depending on “the openness and spiritual receptivity of the listeners.” Furthermore, “a parable can have many applications.” Each element in the parables of Jesus works as an analog, as one thing representing, or “re-presenting,” something else.  See, generally, Ruben Zimmermann and Gabi Kern, eds., Hermeneutik der Gleichnisse Jesu (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008); Stefan Nordgaard Svendsen, Allegory Transformed: The Appropriation of Philonic Hermeneutics in the Letter of the Hebrews (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009). Consider the following: The two sons were asked by their father. Website by The Website Branch New York, "Lord, Increase Our Faith" (We Cannot Win Without You), Seven Things You Should Know About Destiny Helpers, Prayer Points for Light to Shine in Your Situation, Why You Should Respect The Anointing on A Man or Woman of God, Prayer Points to Arrest the Agenda of the Enemy.  Compare Moses 4:1, “and surely I will do it; where give me thine honor.” It would not appear here that Satan approached God first, for the first son, the Father’s “Beloved Son,” who had been “Chosen from the beginning,” said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2). A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’. As mentioned above, to Jesus and his listeners, the vineyard was a potent symbol of the house of Israel (see Isaiah 5:1–7). 3. While some … For Lehi, the dichotomy gave people the choice between liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator, or captivity and eternal death under the power of the devil (see 2 Nephi 2:27). “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me” (John 17:8).  Commentators often assert that this parable has been taken out of its original context in some Galilean village setting and inserted here, where it does not really belong. Cursing the fig tree. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (London: Oxford University Press, 1926), 729. Jesus’ parable told the priests that they'd claimed to accept the message from God but they'd failed to live up to it by being obedient. The son answers, 'I will not,' but he later changes his mind and goes to work in the vineyard.  Jesus may have had several reasons for veiling his meanings, all of which could have been operating on the occasion of Matthew 21. 3–4 (1973), 76–98, reprinted in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, 1:171–214 (see p. 174); see generally E. Theodore Mullen Jr., The Divine Council in Canaanite and Early Hebrew Literature (Chico, CA: Scholars, 1980). ... ACTIVITY: The Parable Of The Two Sons Materials needed: three 2" x 12" strips of tan construction paper, crayons, markers, tape. Most manuscripts call him “the other” (ho heteros), while some call him “the second (ho deuteros).” This son stood in utter contrast to the first, as in the expression “on the one hand, or on the other hand.” He is more than numerically second; he also stands in contradistinction, being the “other,” being of another mind or having some other purpose. This story “expects that listeners should pronounce judgment upon the son who did not obey,” for children in this world were “expected to honour [their] parents.” One son eventually does this; the other does not. In addition, one further tool was given to the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith. In a small minority of manuscripts, another version of this parable likewise has the father approach the ultimately willing son first, but in the end he is called not “the first” but “the last” or “the least” (ho eschatos). Sometimes these paralleling referents are transparent and obvious; other times, and for various reasons, the allegorical counterparts are more obscure and esoterically coded. The younger one said to him, “Father, give me my share of … Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 1988), 41, 46; Hugh W. Nibley, “Treasures in the Heavens: Some Early Christian Insights into the Organizing of Worlds,” Dialogue 8, no. Moreover, the second and only other word (kurie) in his reply to his father a bit stiffly calls his own father “Lord,” which may well convey an underlying sentiment that for that son this matter was not primarily about close personal love or filial devotion.  “The vineyard is here, as elsewhere (Isaiah 5:1–7; Matthew 21:33–43), a metaphor for Israel.” Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), 221.  I first suggested this reading in “‘Thy Mind, O Man, Must Stretch,’” BYU Studies 50, no. The moral lesson of the Two Brothers is that blood is thicker than water. With a little further reflection, they may also have perceived that Jesus had spoken of himself as the first son in the immediately preceding parable of the willing and unwilling two sons. Although some allegories can be drawn between events in heaven and events on earth, more often allegories are located between two characters or characteristics found in this world, such as the allegorical juxtaposition of a seed to faith or a fisherman to a missionary. I disagree that “this is little more than an expanded proverb” employed as a “parable of judgment.”.  On the importance of the two questions in Matthew 21:23 and 25 for the interpretation of this parable, see Wesley G. Olmstead, Matthew’s Trilogy of Parables: The Nation, the Nations and the Reader in Matthew 21:28–22:14 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 99, 108. Because of this symbolic element, it is often suggested that this parable should be read nationally, as a statement about God’s two ethnic sons, so to speak, the Israelites and the Gentiles: one of the sons (Israel) said (and covenanted) that he would do what God wanted but then did not, while the other (the Gentiles, or the publicans and the harlots) said he would not go, but reconsidered and did go. Concurring, Arland J. Hultgren, “Interpreting the Parables of Jesus: Giving Voice to Their Theological Significance,” in Hermeneutic der Gleichnisse Jesu: Methodische Neuansätze zum Verstehen urchristlicher Parabeltexte, ed. Jesus, however, simply “answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27), adding, “Father, thy will be done” (Moses 4:2; emphasis added). 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