Matthew 21:31 states that the prostitutes and tax collectors may well enter the kingdom of heaven before the chief priests and elders. It’s much harder to witness to a person who is not convinced of their sin–especially if they are prone to do good deeds also. More susceptible to hearing the Word and wanting to leave their life of sin are the people who have or are presently experiencing life as it wasn’t meant to be lived. The chief priests and tax collectors knew God from their neck up; sinners know God from having a heart condition that recognizes that The Almighty is the only One Who can fix it.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, we can parallel the first son’s exit to the prostitutes and tax collectors who initially choose a life of shame, but later repented, returning to their heavenly Father via Jesus Christ. The second son parallels the chief priests and scribes, who initially always thought they were in possession of their spiritual well being through a strict adherence to the law. Pity. The law only convinces one of sin since we all fall short of the glory of God.
I’m reminded of Rahab the harlot and her relatives who were sparred by Joshua because she hid his spies sent to scout Jericho. Her sin was obvious to all–yet she repented, and later, not only lived among the Israelites but was included in the lineage of Jesus Christ. If she is included, so can we be. Amen.
You’re probably notice the sparkler effect that I added to the palm trees. It heightens the joy (like the Fourth of July celebration?) that Christians experience when a lost sheep comes home to rest in The Savior’s arms.