The Parable of the Two Sons
"Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: "What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.' He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes sir,' but did not go. Which of the two did his father's will?"
They answered, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him." (Matthew 21:28 -32)
Although the chief priest gave the answer that Jesus was looking for, Jesus still condemned them by saying, “tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.” What made them more worthy of the Kingdom over the chief priests and the Pharisees, is that when they heard the teaching of John the Baptist, they heeded his words, repented their sins and followed the way of righteousness. The chief priests did not do this.
In this Gospel, the chief priests and Pharisees who would not believe the words of John the Baptist, yet at the same time boasted of their faithfulness to God’s teaching, were like the son who says “I will go” but then does not go. With their lips they speak of righteousness, but their actions do not reflect their words.
The tax collectors and prostitutes were like the son who said “I will not,” but afterwards changed his mind and went. The tax collectors and prostitutes found in Jesus what they had been looking for in sin. Their sin would never fulfill what they longed for, only Jesus could and did.
The essential message of this Gospel is simply that God values actions over words. Or as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
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Arroyo Seco Terrior of Monterey County - L. A. Momboisse