When Yes Means No

The parable is about two sons. Their Father tells them both to go work in his vineyard. The first says he won’t, but does. The second says he will, but doesn’t.

It looks bad for the first son when he says no. But he changes his mind and goes to work!

The second son sounds ok. But his yes really means no. He never goes!

Now the Teacher asks – Which of the two did what the father wanted?

Ok, where do we fit in this parable?

In fact, we may be a little like both of these sons.

When we confessed faith in Jesus, we all said to Him - Yes, I will do what you ask of me. I will go.

But the question is did we ever make it to the vineyard? Are we laboring to follow the Teacher? Become His serious student – grow to be more like Him?

Or have we just said yes to get what Jesus offers. Then substituted nominal church membership for any real effort to become Christ like?

If so, we are like the second son. Our yes really means no!

However, if we repent of this, we are more like the first son who said no, but later changed his mind! Went to work!

Which of the two did what his father wanted?

“The first,” they answered.


  1. I'm back! Sorry for my absence, I really do appreciate this daily reading schedule and blog.

    The son who said he wouldn't go, but did, the NIV reads "he changed his mind" which is obvious as he did what he said he wouldn't do.

    The Greek word in that sentence (meta-melay-theis) means: to care afterwards, regret, repent. It was more than a simple change of mind - it was a thoughtful, heartfelt (regret) obediant (repent) decision followed by action.

    hmmm - seems like we're again bringing up the heart of the matter.

    When we realize we have failed, missed the mark, or have not walked in the steps of the Teacher, what is our response?

    Do we even think about it? Do we brush it off, or do we regret, and change? For that is what the Teacher desires - a heart that wants to follow Him.

    A heart that realizes wrong, and regrets, and repents.

    "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart,
    O God, you won't despise." Ps 51:17

  2. Great Kevin, I know everyone looks
    forward to reading your comments.