Matthew 21:26-30

Mat 21:26 (KJB)
But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

Then they discussed the other side of the question and that was if they told Jesus that the baptism of John was of men, then the people might stone them because the people held John to be a prophet. So it was the kind of question they would not be able to answer because either way, they were caught by their own unbelief.

Mat 21:27 (KJB)
And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Since they knew if they answered the question in any direction, they would be in trouble with the people. So what they did was they had decided to take the easy way out and claim that they did not know the origin of the baptism of John. They were not ignorant of Johnís ministry but they wanted to get out of the situation which could have caused them much consternation. Now, because they answered in this fashion, Jesus then tells them that He will not tell them by what authority He has cleansed the temple. Now they not only had John to reckon with but now the ministry of Jesus. If they deemed John to be a prophet, then they would have had to believe his message, especially about Jesus being the Messiah. This was something they could not take a chance on.

Mat 21:28 (KJB)
But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

Then Jesus begins to speak to the religious leaders with a parable. It begins by stating that a certain man had two sons and came to the first son, go work today in my vineyard. The word ĒgoĒ in the Greek is in the Imperative Mood, making a it a command. So this father had commanded his son to go to work in the vineyard because after all, the sons of the owner would eventually inherit the vineyards. So they would have to know something about the vineyards.

Mat 21:29 (KJB)
He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

At first the son had rejected the idea of going to work in the vineyard but after he had a little time to reflect upon his hasty and disrespectful words to his father, he repented of his initial attitude and then proceeded to go to work in the vineyard. This action shows the son genuinely repented and turned his back on his own feelings and wants for that day and chose to obey his father. His initial response was typical of all those who are in defiance of God.

Mat 21:30 (KJB)
And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

Then the man went to the second son and commanded him to go to work in the vineyard. Keep in mind the vineyard was not next to the home but was normally a little distance outside the town so the father would not be able to see if his son had obeyed. This son told his father that he would work in the vineyard and was even polite in his answer but his real response was a total lie as he did not go to work in the vineyard. He probably headed in the direction but once he was out of sight, he probably went to a friendís house or just got lazy somewhere. This sonís sin will definitely be found out because the first son went to work in the vineyard and he would definitely know that son number two did not show up.

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