We see this in the New Testament accounts of Jesus, where it is the religiously observant people who are offended by Jesus and the irreligious people who are attracted to him. Whenever Jesus encounters a religious person and a racial outcast (John 3-4), a political outcast(Luke 19), or a sexual outcast (Luke 7), the outcast connects with Jesus while the religiously upright person does not.
The scene in Luke 15 is typical of Jesus' encounters with religious people. They are grumbling to themselves "this man welcomes sinners, and eats with them" (Luke 15:1-2). In response to their grumbling, he tells three parables to introduce a very different understanding of spiritual reality. In the final parable, the dutiful older brother, representing the religious establishment is left outside of his Father's embrace. Ironically, it is not his sin, but his goodness that keeps him from joining the party.
Shockingly, Jesus considers religious moralism to be a particularly deadly spiritual condition. He goes so far as to say to the religious people of his day that, "the tax collectors and the prostitutes enter the kingdom before you" (Matthew 21:31).
What Jesus offers is life in the kingdom of God, not through religion, but through a relationship with Him. He offers himself as the temple to end all temples, the priest to end all priests, and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. He sacrifices for us, offers his life for ours, paying the death penalty we owe for our sin and satisfying both the justice and mercy of God. His obedience and willingness to die in our place leads to our blessing and favor. His offer to us of a flourishing life in his kingdom as his lifelong apprentices leads to transformation that is not a result of our trying to earn anything but is the result of His Spirit at work in us, changing us from the inside out.