‘ I don’t want to, ‘ He answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Matthew 21:29
The tax collectors and the prostitutes were those who used to say ‘ No ‘ to Jesus. Their ways of life were ‘ No ‘ to Jesus because they did not live according to the teaching of him. They lived impure lives as tax collectors who used to cheat and prostitutes who slept with men who were not their husband in that time to earn a living.
Jesus used the parable of the two sons to teach us about real obedience. Once there was a man who had two sons. He said to the elder one, ‘ Son, go and work in the vineyard today. ‘ ‘ I don’t want to, he answered but later he changed his mind and went. Then he went to the other son and said the same thing. ‘ Yes, sir, ‘ he answered but he did not go.
It was clear that the elder son though answered ‘ No ‘ went to work in the vineyard. The other son saying ‘ Yes ‘ did not put into action. To obey God is to put into action the word of God and live the Gospel. To be obedient is to fulfill the will of God to live a righteous life by loving one another, to carry one another’s burden and to accept one another as he is.
John the Baptist came to show the right path and called for repentance. Many did not believe in him but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed and turned to him. There were two characters in the Bible, who were appropriate to this parable. A prostitute named Rahab who lived in Jericho and Zacchaeus; a tax collector in Jericho, both changed their minds and went to work in the vineyard for the kingdom of God. They turned their ‘ No ‘ into action which pleased God and believed in him.
Action expresses priorities.