“What do you think?” That’s what Jesus asked the Pharisees. He wanted them to change their minds. He wanted them to repent. Jesus loved the Pharisees. He still does. He still wants us to understand that it’s the forgiven who are in God’s family, not the ones who think they’re good.
Notice the phrase that Jesus repeats in verses 29 and 32. The son who did his father’s will is the one who changed his mind. Jesus is urging the Pharisees to do the same. To change one’s mind is to repent. First our attitude is changed, then our actions change. The first son recognized his sin and changed his mind. God does that through his word. He changes our minds and he changes our hearts. When he does that he changes our life and our eternity!
The second son thought he was good and remained in his disobedience. That’s what sin does. It deadens our mind and hardens our heart. Then we remain spiritually dead and lost. Jesus didn’t want that to happen to the Pharisees. Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to anyone. He wants to change dead hearts and give life. He wants everyone to repent and to live. He paid a dreadful price to make that possible. Now he works tirelessly through his word to bring forgiveness and eternal life. The tax collectors and the prostitutes believed. The Pharisees did not. What do you think?