In Matthew 21:31, Jesus asks the Pharisees and religious leaders, “Which of the two (sons) did the will of his father?” They replied to Him, “The first.” Jesus then said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”

When Jesus brings the truth of life down to our own level, it is impossible to deny it. He plainly asked which of the two sons did the will of the father, and they replied the obedient son. When God gave the Law, the children of Israel said they would do it. However, God’s law is not only the letter of the law, but it is also Spirit. Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” We can follow the law explicitly in our flesh but if we do not follow them in our Spirit, it means absolutely nothing. The religious rulers kept the letter of the law perfectly (so they say), but they had no care of the Spirit of the law. Their hearts were far from God’s word. In John 6:33, the people asked what is the will of God and Jesus said to believe in Him. The tax collector and harlots did the will of God by believing and the religious rulers did not by hardening their hearts and refusing to believe.

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