Jesus Without Language

Kid's Ministry & Sunday School Resources

Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21) | Story

This little parable packs a punch, here we have the vineyard owner again, but instead of looking for hired workers he’s asking his sons to help out. The two sons both react very differently, one says no (or perhaps ‘I won’t’ or ‘I don’t want to’ dependent on your translation) but the other obeys. At that moment, the good son is obvious. But as we see, the words are empty, much like the religious leader’s faith in the encounters. The challenge of this parable goes two ways, to act on your convictions and to be willing to recognise your errors and put them right. If you have older kids, do delve into the question that the religious leaders hit pass on and why they may be afraid to stand behind John the Baptist.

This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.

Main Passage : Matthew 21:28-32

A Biblical retelling of the parable of the two sons s found in Matthew 21

The religious leaders were trying to trap Jesus, but Jesus kept asking them questions they were too scared to answer. When they had hit pass on yet another question, Jesus decided to tell a story.

“There was a vineyard owner” said Jesus – Jesus liked to tell stories about vineyard owners, there were lots of vineyards about as lots of people drank wine!

“This vineyard owner had two sons, two sons who were sitting near the house, not doing anything to help!

“Oi” shouted their father as he spotted them. “The vines need tending, go help the workers!”
He marched right over to where the elder son was sitting.
“Will you go and help?” asked the father.
The son looked down at the ground. He really didn’t want to help today, he was hoping his friend would call soon, and he would rather not lie to his father.
“I’m sorry Father, but I don’t want to today” he said.

The father looked sad but decided to go ask his younger son
“Will you go and help?” asked the father again
“Yes sir” replied the younger son, knowing that was what his father wanted to hear. He thought that he would go and help as soon as he finished the game he was playing.

Hours later, the younger son was still playing. He knew he should be in the vineyard, but he was having too much fun, and his father didn’t seem too upset when his brother had said no. He didn’t move all day until the evening meal was called.

Meanwhile, the older brother felt terrible. When his friend arrived, he sent him away so he could do what his father had asked. He changed his clothes and went to work to make up for the time he’d sat at home.

Which of the two did what his father asked?” said Jesus.

It was an easy answer: the older son. Because the older son saw that his choice had been wrong and changed. The religious leaders didn’t want to change their minds, even when they realised they might be wrong. Jesus said that because of this, they would be the last to enter God’s kingdom.


Other posts for Two-sons.


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