This week’s study is based on theparable of….

“The Two Sons”

Read Matthew 21:28-32.

Who did Jesus tell this parable to, and why?

Let’s look closer at the issue He was addressing?

1. The Two Sons.

How would you answer Jesus’ question in Matthew 21:31a? Give reasons for your answer.

Who did the older son represent? ……………………………………………………………….

Who did the other son represent? ………………………………………………………………

Discuss in your group the difference between the two groups of people Jesus was referring to and why they acted like either the older son or other son. Matthew 21:31-32.

What had the corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes done that the Leading Priests and Pharisees refused to do?

2. The Fig Tree.

Read Matthew 21:18-19.

Why did Jesus cause the fig tree to die?

Read Matthew 21:33-46. What same point as the fig tree did Jesus make regarding the Leading Priests and Pharisees? Matthew 21:43.

Read, consider and discuss the following article….

“Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? This was not a thoughtless, angry act but an acted out parable. Jesus was showing his anger at religion without substance. Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance but was fruitless on close examination, so the Temple looked impressive at first glance, but its sacrifices and other activities were hollow because they were not done to worship God sincerely. If you only appear to have faith without putting it to work in your life, you are like the fig tree that withered and died because it bore no fruit. Genuine faith means bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom.” *

With the above in mind read what Jesus had done in the Temple the day before. Matthew 21:12-13.

How do we know our faith is genuine and not just hollow, empty and without substance as was the Leading Priests and Pharisees?

Read James 1:22-25, 2:14-26.

3. Application.

Can we produce fruit for God on our own in our own efforts: eg in the efforts of our flesh?

Read John 15:4-5.

Who produces real fruit in our lives? (not the ‘works of the flesh’) Read Galatians 5:22-23.

If the fruit we produce is not from ourselves, our own efforts then what is God wanting us to do?

Consider Luke 9:23, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 5:25.

Honestly / prayerfully look at your own life. Consider David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24.

Answer the following questions.

· When people observe your life what do they see?

· Where do they see your priorities lie?

· Where and on what do you spend your time, money, energy, etc?

· What and where is your real treasure? Read Jesus words in Matthew 6:19-20.

· Read Matthew 6:21. What does Jesus say as to how you will know where you heart is?

As you have prayerfully considered these things in the light of God’s Word read again James 1:22-25.

Is there anything God has shown you he wants to change in your life? Share in your group and pray for one another asking God to help you through His Holy Spirit remembering Paul’s words….

‘…. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is at work in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him’ Philippians 2:12-13.

* Taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation.’


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Bible Study Parables