Parables [stories] that Jesus told in Matthew chapters 21-22

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 9 - Jesus' last week in Jerusalem - Part 5

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The parable of the two sons

[A parable is a story with a meaning.]

Matthew 21:28-32

In this parable a man had two sons. He told them to go and work in his vineyard. [A vineyard is where men grow fruit to make wine.] One son said that he would not go. Later, he was sorry, and he went. The other son said that he would go. But he did not go. The son, who at first refused, obeyed his father.

What was Jesus teaching people by this parable?

It is important to know Godís Word [that is, the Bible]. It is even more important to obey it. The Bible teaches this lesson in many places. It is a very important lesson for today.

See 1 Samuel 15:22, Psalm 25:4, Psalm 27:11, Psalm 86:11, Psalm 143:10, Isaiah 2:3, Jeremiah 21:33, Matthew 7:21-27, Matthew 28:20, John 15:14, Acts 5:29.

Parable of the workers and the vineyard

[A parable is a story with a meaning. A vineyard is where men grow fruit to make wine.]

Matthew 21:33-46

In this parable, a farmer allowed other people to rent his vineyard. They had to send him some fruit as payment. The farmer sent servants to receive the fruit. The men in the vineyard attacked and killed the servants. At last the farmer sent his son. The men in the vineyard killed the son also. Then the farmer killed the men in the vineyard. Afterwards, the farmer let the vineyard to other people.

This parable was very clear. A vineyard in the Bible often means Israel. The servants of the farmer were like the *prophets. Evil Jews killed most of the *prophets. The son of the farmer is like Jesus. The farmer killed the men in his vineyard. That shows that God will *judge Israel. He will give the gospel (the good news about Jesus) to people who are not Jews.

Parable of the wedding *feast

[A parable is a story with a meaning.]

Matthew 22:1-14

In this parable, a king has a wedding *feast for his son. The king invites certain special guests. He sends many messages to them, but they refuse to come. Instead, they kill the kingís servants.

The king then becomes very angry. He sends an army to destroy the city of these people. After this, he invites other, more common people, to the wedding. He encourages them to come.

In such *feasts the king usually gave special clothes to the guests. But when the king came he saw someone without special clothes. The king ordered the servants to force this man to leave. The man had refused to wear the clothes from the king.

In this parable, the king is like God. And the first guests are like the Jews who would not obey God. The first guests killed the kingís servants. These servants are like the *prophets whom God sent to the Jews. These Jews killed the *prophets or dealt badly with them. The city in the parable is like Jerusalem. In the parable, the king destroyed the city. Jesus spoke here about the time to come. 40 years after Jesus said these words, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.

The later guests are the Gentiles. [Gentiles are people who are not Jews.] Today, God invites everybody to join the *Kingdom of God, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

The last part of the parable is very important. God wants all people to be sorry for the wrong things that they have done. They should obey him. Then they will belong to the *kingdom of God. But there is only one way to do this. God will forgive us because of what Christ did for us. He helps us to live in a new way. This is like the special clothes that the king gave to his guests. None of us can stand before God because of our own goodness. We cannot be good enough, on our own. We must trust in what Christ has done for us. When we believe in him, we can be part of Godís *kingdom.

The parable teaches us that people from every nation can be Christians. The message of Jesus is for everybody Ė both Jews and Gentiles.

 

Some more parables [stories with a meaning] that Jesus told:

 

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