Matthew 21:23-25 In Jesus' world, as in ours, people looked for the outward sign of authority - education, title, position, connections. But Jesus' authority came from who He was, not from any outward and superficial trappings. As followers of Christ, God has given us authority - we can confidently speak and act on His behalf because He has authorized us. Are you exercising your authority?
Matthew 21:23-27 The Pharisees demanded to know where Jesus got His authority. If Jesus said His authority came from God, they would accuse Him of blasphemy. If He said that He was acting on His own authority, the crowds would be convinced that the Pharisees had the greater authority. But Jesus answered them with a seemingly unrelated question that exposed their real motives. They didn't really want an answer to their question: they only wanted to trap Him. Jesus showed that the Pharisees wanted the truth only if it supported their own views and causes.
Matthew 21:30 The son who said he would obey and then didn't represented the nation of Israel in Jesus' day. They said they wanted to do God's will, but they constantly disobeyed. They were phony, just going through the motions. It is dangerous to pretend to obey God when our hearts are far from Him because God knows our true intentions. Our actions must match our words.
Matthew 21:33 The main elements in this parable are the landowner - God, the vineyard - Israel, the vine dressers - the Jewish religious leaders, the landowner's servants - the prophets and priests who remained faithful to God and preached to Israel, the Son - Jesus, and the other vine dressers - the Gentiles. Jesus was exposing the religious leaders murderous plot.