RE: [XTalk] Parable of the Two Sons
I think you have it on the nose. The question Jesus poses is not which of the two sons was polite or insulting, but rather which son
did his father's "will." Many folks can attest to reacting negatively to the requests or demands of others, but upon thinking the
matter through decides it is better to comply.
As a reaction to criticism that JtB had attracted tax collectors and prostitutes as followers, he says that their initial disregard
to adhere to god's commands was not as important as their ultimate decision to follow god's will. This is contrasted to people who
paid him public praise but privately did not take his message to heart. Urging people to return to following god's will is part of
the prophetic tradition, and I think those influenced by that tradition would think that it trumps conventions of honor-shame.
As a result, I believe this argues against an interpretation *based* on honor-shame. At best it adds color to the analysis.
Newton Falls, Ohio USA
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Bob Schacht
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 1:33 AM
Subject: [XTalk] Parable of the Two Sons
Will some exegete please explain Matthew 21:28-31 to me? Is Jesus saying that what you do is more important than what you say? I'm
often confused by such matters. I'd pull out my copy of The Five Gospels, or The Interpreter's Bible, but they're packed away.
28 "What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'
29 He answered, 'I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went.
30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but he did not go.
31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors
and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.
Northern Arizona University
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