Jesus was talking to the religious establishment of his day. These leaders should have recognized the Jesus they saw before them. However, they expected a different Jesus. They expected a messiah who would meet their standards and honor them in their hypocrisy. They assumed they would be respected as leaders, that Jesus would acknowledge their wisdom. Jesus did just the opposite. He told them two parables to illustrate their weakness. Sadly and predictably, the establishment crowd continued in their ways, and after hearing the second parable they began to look for ways to arrest Jesus. Here is the first parable:
"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'"
"'I will not,' he answered..."
Let's stop the story for a moment. What is your impression at this point? Is this story about a rebellious, ungrateful son, maybe even a rebellious teenager? Let's see.