When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his (Jesus') parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.
It's an old saying: 'if the cap fits, wear it', meaning that if a criticism seems to be aimed at you then accept it. Certainly the chief priests and Pharisees who had been listening to Jesus got the message — his criticism was aimed at them.
Why was it that Jesus was so critical of the chief priests and the Pharisees? The main reason was that those religious leaders were deceiving and confusing their people as to what God's will for them was. They had added so many traditions and rules of their own which made religion an unhappy burden for people, rather than the joyful relationship with God which God had intended it should be.
Jesus was very angry about this. His message was clear — judgment was going to come upon those false leaders who were betraying the teaching God had expected them to follow and teach. The cap fitted; they put it on — they knew Jesus was getting at them and they plotted to kill him.
It is right that we should criticise those priests and Pharisees. But we too must be careful about the way we trust God's word and how we expect other people to live when they profess to be Christians. We must never distort God's message of grace and goodness to all who come in faith to trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
Dear Lord, help me, I pray, to be faithful to the message of the Gospel. Amen.