Matthew__20

Scripture

Matthew 20:15-16

 

15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus tells another parable to His disciples about workers in a vineyard that were hired at different times, yet promised the same wage. Those hired first were grumbling because of all the work they put in from the beginning, yet the owner (parallel to the Lord, our Master), paid them the same wage as the workers who started work later. He says to stop being envious of His generosity and ends that parable by saying, “The last will be first and the first will be last.”

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

In Jesus’ parable, He was saying that it doesn’t matter when or how we started in terms of our faith. It’s how we finish. 

 

For example, those who were hired first can be parallel to those who’ve been living their lives for Jesus all their lives.  The ones hired last can be parallel to someone like the thief on the cross, who never lived a day for Jesus, except for his acceptance of Him seconds before he took his last breath. In both scenarios, both were promised and given the same reward.

Jesus said these same words in our Soul Journal reading yesterday of Matthew 19. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” He did it to describe the Kingdom of Heaven and having a humble heart towards acceptance of Jesus. (The unwillingness of the Pharisees and Religious Leaders of the day to have a humble heart like a child is why they couldn’t accept Jesus.) I am also reminded of the Parable of the Prodigal son in Luke 15, where the other son was envious because the rebellious one who came back got a big party, but he didn’t.

 

Life Application

We must stop judging God’s generosity and grace. At the foot of the cross, we are all the same.

 

Have you ever been so prideful that you thought you were better than others or deserved more than others because you’ve been a faithful servant of Christ all your life? True confessions-I have, 18 years ago, and you know what happened??? God humbled me, broke me and brought me to a place where I was no longer the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14, but the tax collector, in need of His mercy and grace and no longer reliant on my works for Him.

A lot of inspirational speakers, ministers and Pastors say this, so I don’t know where it originated from, but it’s true! “It doesn’t matter when or how you start, it’s how you finish.” That’s the mindset we must have when reaching out to others. May we never forget where we came from or judge the generosity of Jesus towards others. That same generosity is why many of us are who/where we are today!

-Michelle Gaddi