Over the Airwaves

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#141: “Over the Airwaves”
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Matthew 21:28-46

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, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For 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. 33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said. 38"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' 39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40"Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time." 42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them.

46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

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Over the Airwaves

“Over the Airwaves” is episode #141 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on January 19, 1991.


Kids' Radio puts together a bunch of shows involving adaptations of parables that deal with living a good life.



Kids' Radio program Adventures in the Bible produces two of Jesus’ parables about the kingdom of heaven, both with a twist. The first is the parable of the two sons. It is about a father and his two children, in this case played by George, Jimmy, and Donna Barclay. George tells Donna to mow the lawn. She refuses but later does as her father asked. Then George tells Jimmy to mow the lawn. Jimmy agrees, but he doesn’t follow through. Although Donna didn’t comply at first, she, unlike Jimmy, did what her father asked. This illustrates the point that even the worst sinners who truly repent will enter into heaven before those who were simply ‘good’ or ‘religious.’

Following this is the parable of the tenants. In this parable, a vineyard owner sends his servants, then his son, to collect rent from the farmers working the vineyard. But in the Kid’s Radio version, the setting changes to the old West, the vineyard becomes Southspoon Ranch, and the owner is now Matt Cartwood. Although told humorously, the point is serious: The kingdom of heaven will be taken away from the chief priests and the Pharisees and given to people who follow God’s will for His kingdom.

The Kid’s Radio production of the two parables is a smashing success.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. When your parents ask you to do something, do you respond like Jimmy or Donna did?
    • How should you respond?
  2. Whom did Mr. Cartwood represent?
    • Jeremy?
    • The Southspoon Ranch?
  3. How do the lessons from these two parables apply to us today?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Mary Barclay George Barclay


  • When Connie turns on the radio, the show that is playing in the background is from #114: “The Big Broadcast”.
  • This episode features several allusions and references to various vintage TV shows, movies and songs:
    • The names "Matt Cartwood," and "Wes Chester" from "Young Guns Bonanza" is a vague allusion to "Gunsmoke," with the man in charge named Matt and the sidekick named Chester.
    • The name "Cartwood" in "Young Guns Bonanza" is a vague allusion to the TV show Bonanza, with Cartwood being a slight deviation from "Cartwright."
    • The name "Southspoon Ranch" is also a reference to the TV show Dallas, the main setting of which is "Southfork Ranch."
    • The music played during the introduction of "Young Guns Bonanza" bears a strong resemblance to the theme of "The Magnificent Seven."
  • Wes's description of the TV show playing at the hospital — "this fella named Rocky from Dakota went up into a saloon to meet up with a girl named McGill, or Lil, but everyone knew her as Nancy" — comes from the Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon."
  • This episode was used in Radio Scripts, Volume 3.
  • The Southspoon Ranch segment of this episode would be dramatized again later in both #502: “Live at the 25!” and the 30th Birthday Show.
  • This is Phil Lollar's 100th episode directing.


Matt Cartwood: Well, Wes, I'd say the South Spoon Ranch is completed. We've split logs, pushed soil, herded cattle, and sheered sheep!

Radio caller #2: I think the kingdom of heaven is the product of the reincarnation of previous states of mind purified to crystal the proper dental hygiene!

Headlock Harry: I'm Headlock Harry.
Trigger-Finger Troy: I'm Trigger-Finger Troy.
Silver-Saddle-Slapper Stephanie: And I'm Silver-Saddle-Slapper Stephanie.
Wes Chester: <beat> Signin' your names must be a real chore.

Narrator: Stubby-Finger Stanley went to—
Trigger-Finger Troy: Trigger-Finger Troy to you, bub.