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Matthew 21:28–32

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 hWhat do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in ithe vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered,I will not,’ but afterward he jchanged his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered,I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you, kthe tax collectors and lthe prostitutes go into mthe kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you nin the way of righteousness, and oyou did not believe him, but pthe tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward jchange your minds and believe him.

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Matthew 21:28–32 — The New International Version (NIV)

28 What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered,I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

28 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. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — New Living Translation (NLT)

28 But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.

31 Which of the two obeyed his father?”

They replied, “The first.”

Then Jesus explained his meaning: I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.

Matthew 21:28–32 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”

They said to Him, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — New Century Version (NCV)

28 “Tell me what you think about this: A man had two sons. He went to the first son and said, ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ 29 The son answered, ‘I will not go.’ But later the son changed his mind and went. 30 Then the father went to the other son and said, ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ The son answered, ‘Yes, sir, I will go and work,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two sons obeyed his father?”

The priests and leaders answered, “The first son.”

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you do. 32 John came to show you the right way to live. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Even after seeing this, you still refused to change your ways and believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

28 But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard. 29 And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They say, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye saw it, did not even repent yourselves afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

28 But what think ye? A man had two children, and coming to the first he said, Child, go to-day, work in my vineyard. 29 And he answering said, I will not; but afterwards repenting himself he went. 30 And coming to the second he said likewise; and he answering said, I go, sir, and went not. 31 Which of the two did the will of the father? They say to him, The first. Jesus says to them, Verily I say unto you that the tax-gatherers and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the tax-gatherers and the harlots believed him; but ye when ye saw it repented not yourselves afterwards to believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

28 “What do you think about this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go to work in the vineyard today.’ 

29 “His son replied, ‘I don’t want to!’ But later he changed his mind and went. 

30 “The father went to the other son and told him the same thing. He replied, ‘I will, sir,’ but he didn’t go. 

31 “Which of the two sons did what the father wanted?” 

“The first,” they answered. 

Jesus said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Tax collectors and prostitutes are going into God’s kingdom ahead of you. 32 John came to you and showed you the way that God wants you to live, but you didn’t believe him. The tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But even after you had seen that, you didn’t change your minds and believe him. 

Matthew 21:28–32 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

28 But what do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘My son, go, work in the vineyard today.’

29 He answered,I don’t want to!’ Yet later he changed his mind and went. 30 Then the man went to the other and said the same thing.

“ ‘I will, sir,’ he answered. But he didn’t go.

31 Which of the two did his father’s will?”

“The first,” they said.

Jesus said to them, I assure you: Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you! 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him. Tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him, but you, when you saw it, didn’t even change your minds then and believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

28 “Now what do you think? A man had two sons. He approached the first and said, ‘Son, go work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered and said, ‘I do not want to!’ But later he changed his mind and went. 30 And he approached the second and said the same thing. So he answered and said, ‘I will, sir,’ and 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 say to you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going ahead of you into the kingdom of God! 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did believe him. And when you saw it, you did not even change your minds later so as to believe in him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

28 “What do you think about this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “ ‘I will not,’ the son answered. But later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son. He said the same thing. The son answered, ‘I will, sir.’ But he did not go.

31 “Which of the two sons did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “What I’m about to tell you is true. Tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 John came to show you the right way to live. And you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. You saw this. But even then you did not turn away from your sins and believe him.

Matthew 21:28–32 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’

29 And he answered,I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.

30 The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered,I will, 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 say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.


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