Matthew 21:28-32 Actions Speak Loader Than Words.
Jesus taught this parable after he had entered and cleansed the temple, spoke of the apostates as a cursed fig tree, which led to the apostate religious leadership questioning his authority. Now he would teach that one of the things that characterized apostates was their having fine sounding words declaring obedience to the LORD of the covenant, but having actions that went contrary. At the same time, Jesus also highlighted those who initially said that they would not obey, but who had come to recognize the need for repentance. Just as they could not answer by what authority John and Jesus preached and acted, they consequently did not see their need to repent of their apostasy.