What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He came to the first and said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard.
And he answered, I will not; but afterward he changed his mind and went.
Then the man came to the second and said the same [thing]. And he replied, I will [go], sir; but he did not go.
Which of the two did the will of the father? They replied, The first one. Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the harlots will get into the kingdom of heaven before you.
For John came to you walking in the way of an upright man in right standing with God, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots did believe him; and you, even when you saw that, did not afterward change your minds and believe him [adhere to, trust in, and rely on what he told you].
Listen to another parable: There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a hedge around it and dug a wine vat in it and built a watchtower. Then he let it out [for rent] to tenants and went into another country.
When the fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his [share of the] fruit.
But the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Again he sent other servants, more than the first time, and they treated them the same way.
Finally he sent his own son to them, saying, They will respect and give heed to my son.
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, This is the heir; come on, let us kill him and have his inheritance.
And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Now when the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those tenants?
They said to Him, He will put those wretches to a miserable death and rent the vineyard to other tenants of such a character that they will give him the fruits promptly in their season. [Isa. 5:1-7.]
Jesus asked them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: The very Stone which the builders rejected and threw away has become the Cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? [Ps. 118:22, 23.]
I tell you, for this reason the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the fruits of it.
And whoever falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom It falls will be crushed to powder [and It will winnow him, scattering him like dust]. [Isa. 8:14; Dan. 2:34, 35.]
And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables (comparisons, stories used to illustrate and explain), they perceived that He was talking about them.
And although they were trying to arrest Him, they feared the throngs because they regarded Him as a prophet.