Commentary on the Gospel of
The one who replied to his father that he would not go, later reflected, understood and obeyed. Moving away from the negative reaction of the first son, there is an attitude to wait, ponder over and be proactive, seen in the second son. This approach is worth paying attention to. Evangelist now compares this parable to the experience of John the Baptist. The Baptist is surprised even shocked by what he saw in Jesus, whom he pointed out as the Messiah. Instead of vindicating the wicked and eliminating the evil and impure, Messiah is found one with them showing an unconditional love for good and bad alike. The threatening language used by John has become out of place: ‘brood of vipers… axe is laid to the root of the tree..’ The radical new face of God disappointed John.
Christians of this age also could be disappointed with a God who does not annihilate the sinners and the unrighteous, who does not solve our problems with miracles and prodigies. The problems of this world are up to us to resolve and set right! The life of Jesus and his message disturbed John. If the Gospel that we believe and announce does not unsettle any one, it is not Gospel that we announce. The second son let the Gospel to change him by waiting on it, reflecting on the word taking time and in prayer. The Gospel unsettles the announcer before his proclamation unnerves anyone.