Matthew 21:30

ESV And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.
NIV Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.
NASB And the man came to his second son and said the same thing; and he replied, ‘I will, sir’; and yet he did not go.
CSB Then the man went to the other and said the same thing. 'I will, sir,' he answered, but he didn't go.
NLT Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
KJV And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

What does Matthew 21:30 mean?

Jesus is telling a parable to illustrate a powerful and devastating point to some of Israel's religious leaders (Matthew 21:28–29). In context, this is a direct criticism of their hypocritical attacks on Jesus, while they themselves ignore the will of God (Matthew 21:23–27). In the first half of the parable, a man's son initially refuses to obey a command to work, but then changes his mind and cooperates.

The man tells his second son to go work in the vineyard. This one answers his father very respectfully. Despite initial appearances, however, that son doesn't do as he is told. As part of the parable, this is meant to depict men like those who have recently attacked Jesus. They give the appearance of obedience and honor to the Father, but in truth they are disobedient. This is in contrast to those whose spiritual state seems despicably defiant (Matthew 21:31), but who will eventually come to faith.
What is the Gospel?
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