Thus much prefaced, the Lord brings forward a parable, to convict them of their irreligion, and show them that the kingdom of God should be transferred to the Gentiles.
He speaks to the Gentile people first, through their knowledge of the law of nature; “Go and work in my vineyard;” i.e. “What you would not have done to you, that do not you to others.” He answers haughtily, “I will not.”.
But when, at the coming of the Saviour, the Gentile people, having done penitence, laboured in God’s vineyard, and atoned by their labour for the obstinacy of their refusal, this is what is said, “But afterward he repented, and went.” The second son is the Jewish people who made answer to Moses, “All that the Lord hath said unto us we will do.” .
It should be known that in the correct copies it is read not “The last,” butThe first,” that they might be condemned by their own sentence. But should we prefer to read, as some have it, “The last,” the explanation is obvious, to say that the Jews understood ...