Read Matthew 21
A man had two sons—yes, this is the beginning of a parable. He told one to go work in the vineyard, but he said that he would not. Later he changed his mind and did what his father told him.
The father told his other son to go work in the vineyard. He said he would but he did not.
Jesus asked the hypocrites:
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
The religious leaders surely thought that they had scored an A+ on this one. They answered: “The first.”
Jesus didn’t hand out Star Student pencils or put gold stars on their charts. He went directly to chastising the hypocrites.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 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.
Jesus had tailored a parable just for the hypocrites. They would catch on later, but surely they were indignant and upset at this point. When you think that whatever you think is the truth, the truth hurts when you come face to face with it.
For the tax collectors and prostitutes to enter anything of God’s seem repulsive to them. It seemed completely opposite to what they were teaching and demanding. They did not have eyes to see and this parable blindsided them.