“Truly, I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:31).
In a parable of two sons–one giving the appearance of obedience while being disobedient, and the other disobedience while responding obediently–Jesus teaches a lesson of vital importance regarding the nature of salvation. The kingdom of God is realized not by those offering religious platitudes and “lip service” to the faith, but is exclusively reserved for those who come through the forgiveness of sins. The root of our fascination with religion, not surprisingly, is that it says something about us. Forgiveness, on the other hand, says everything about Him.