20 Matthew

Author

Joel King

Scripture

Matthew 20:1-34

Observations

  • Jesus shares a parable to help those following him to understand what the Kingdom of God is like
  • It is about a landowner who agrees to pay day laborers a particular wage.
  • Those who started  in the morning  agreed to work for a Denarius which was a good wage
  • Throughout the day the landowner hired men for the same job
  • At the end of the day the landowner had everyone payed starting with those hired last
  • Seeing those who started at the end of the day get paid what the morning workers were promised made the morning workers think they were going to get paid more . . . But they were just paid what they were promised
  • They began to complain because they believed they should make more because they did more work
  • The landowner pointed out that they were paid the wage they were promised and that they should be happy with that, and what he paid the others was His concern and not really theirs.
  • Jesus then draws the principle that in the kingdom those last shall be first, and those who think they should be first may end up last.
  • Jesus then uses himself as an example and explains that though he should be glorified instead they are going to Jerusalem (the proper place for the King), where the religious leaders (who should glorify Him) will betray him, have him condemned to death, he will be flogged, and then crucified.  Though the third day he will rise from the dead.
  • Showing the disciples don’t get what Jesus is teaching, the mother of two of them came and asked Jesus for the two highest position in His kingdom (probably thinking of an earthly kingdom).
  • Jesus says that she doesn’t understand what she is asking and wonders if these disciples will be able to do what is necessary to follow him into the kingdom
  • They respond that they can
  • Jesus then foresees that they will (for they will suffer like Jesus), but that the places of high honor in the kingdom are for the Father to assign.
  • When the other ten disciples heard about this they were angry with the two for trying to beat them to the punch (a reoccurring argument between them)
  • Jesus knows this and once again addresses the issue of greatness in the kingdom
  • He tells them that in his kingdom the rulers aren’t those who rule from on high because of their position, but the great ones become great by being great servants who subjugate themselves for the betterment of others.
  • He concludes this lesson by telling them to follow his upcoming example where he will lay down his life for others
  • This chapter concludes with two blind-men for the first time directly addressing Jesus as Messiah as they call him Lord the son of David.
  • Their eyes are open literally as the eyes of others are spiritually being open to Jesus being the promised Messiah.

Application

  • God doesn’t work on my merit system.  His greatest gift, eternity shared with Him, is offered to the long time saint and the last minute sinner
  • Also God isn’t interested in my religious pedigree.  He reserves His praise for those that actively live lives of service and are willing to suffer in this world for the blessings in the next
  • I need to open my eyes to the ways of God’s kingdom.  I kid myself when I feel good about my “Christian Life”  God isn’t concerned with my exterior beliefs and morals as much as my heart attitude to lay down my life for the kingdom no matter the personal cost.

Prayer

Forgive me Father God for I have sinned.  I have allowed myself to be puffed up by false pride.  Patting myself on the shoulder for how long I have followed you and how much I know about following you.  You do not judge me based on such external things.  Lord, I want to draw near to you, I want to be a man after your own heart.  Help me lay my life down, be a servant, and become a slave to the kingdom for the glory which I won’t see in this lifetime.  May your Holy Spirit do this work in me which I cannot accomplish on my own.  In the name of Jesus, who showed his love for me on the cross, I pray.  AMEN.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
"Long time saint and last minute sinner" there's a song in there somewhere Joel.......Jesus doesn't just level the playing field, he inverts it! Isn't it interesting that the church can sometimes be like that crowd. Sometimes we want our sermons, bible studies, programs for our kids, to be tight with leadership etc.. while we see desperate, longing people as another program for which we are not prepared. Lord, forgive me of the times I have been busy doing what I thought was ministry, only to overlook those who would have required I take time away from those "ministries". Help me to be captured by your attention through those who you want me to serve.

Tue, September 15, 2015 @ 8:14 AM

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