The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 173: Section 3.
Parable Of The Two Sons
As the caviling Pharisees stood there in silence before Jesus, he looked down
on them and said: "Since you are in doubt about John's mission and arrayed in
enmity against the teaching and the works of the Son of Man, give ear while
I tell you a parable: A certain great and respected
landholder had two sons,
and desiring the help of his sons in the management of his large estates, he
came to one of them, saying, `Son, go work today in my vineyard.' And this unthinking
son answered his father, saying, `I will not go'; but afterward he repented
and went. When he had found his older son, likewise he said to him, `Son, go
work in my vineyard.' And this hypocritical and unfaithful son answered, `Yes,
my father, I will go.' But when his father had departed, he went not. Let me
ask you, which of these sons really did his father's will?"
And the people spoke with one accord, saying, "The first son." And then said
Jesus: "Even so; and now do I declare that the publicans and harlots, even though
they appear to refuse the call to repentance, shall see the error of their way
and go on into the kingdom of God before you, who make great pretensions of
serving the Father in heaven while you refuse to do the works of the Father.
It was not you, the Pharisees and scribes, who believed John, but rather the
publicans and sinners; neither do you believe my teaching, but the common people
hear my words gladly."
Jesus did not despise the Pharisees and Sadducees personally. It was their systems
of teaching and practice which he sought to discredit. He was hostile to no
man, but here was occurring the inevitable clash between a new and living religion
of the spirit and the older religion of ceremony, tradition, and authority.
All this time the twelve apostles stood near the Master, but they did not in
any manner participate in these transactions. Each one of the twelve was reacting
in his own peculiar way to the events of these closing days of Jesus' ministry
in the flesh, and each one likewise remained obedient to the Master's injunction
to refrain from all public teaching and preaching during this Passover week.