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Matthew 20 It is never too late

In the twentieth chapter of Matthew we can once more come to hear about the position of Jesus and our position concerning the Kingdom of God.

Jesus compares that Kingdom or the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. he wants us to to understand the secrets about that kingdom of heaven and how it shall be for those able to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Each person has a different path in life. For some it may take a long time before they come to God or before they come to realise who Christ is and what he really has done. We must understand that it may happen that a person comes later in the Biblical Truth than us, but shall receive the same promised salvation as us.

In our lifetime we also came to a point where we had to decide which way we wanted to follow. We too like every individual had to make the right choice. By choosing to follow Jeshua or Christ Jesus we had to know we had to become workers for him. When coming under Christ we have to follow up his teachings but also have to fulfil the tasks he has given his disciples to do. They and all those who say to be followers of Christ have to become labourers in ‘God’s garden’. Having become a Jesus follower (or a Jeshuaist if you want) we can all share in the fruit of our labours together, with all the saints who participate, we should not wait before taking action. As soon as you have chosen to follow Christ you should get at work for him.

Many people think that just because they have been a Christian longer than another, they are entitled to have a higher ranking place or to receive more rewards in heaven than a ‘newly born Christian’. People also should be aware that just because somebody may have believed in Jesus longer, it does not mean that they were actively seeking him or doing his will or where really giving their life to him. God is the Only One Who can see in the heart of a person. But He is also a righteous Father Who wants all to come to Him and all having the same rights in His Kingdom. He is not going to favour one above an other because that one has become first to Him or has been longer a follower of Christ.

To each person, God simply asks that we work in His vineyard. These are those that are part of the kingdom of heaven and are saved. All others that stand idly by, doing nothing, have nothing to show for themselves and therefore, have no rewards in heaven.This is one of the parables Jesus tells us to make sure we shall come to recognise we have to do works and should not sit on our ass to do nothing or should not worry any more about good and wrong, with the idea that we are saved and as such can do wrong without loosing the grace of salvation.

We should know that Jesus is the householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. He might find in this world many who own things, while God continually calls unto them, but are so taken by the materialistic goods of this world they have not much interest in the heavenly goods. At the other hand Jesus also may find people who own less in this world, but who are with their heart by his heavenly Father . At a certain time in their life they may respond and by doing so shall be blessed by God.

We should know that everyone that loves and serves God is equal in the amount of blessings they receive. Therefore, it is better to work together in this world, going in union for God’s kingdom. For pride may bring you to a point where you no longer serve the Lord and shall come to see that his reward shall not be for you.

To those that are new to the faith, we should be pleased that they at last found the way and should welcome them in with our whole heart. They may not be treated differently. We also may never forget that many are called but few are chosen, this means that not everyone excepts the invitation to work in God’s garden or kingdom. The harvest is ripe but there are only few labours that listen to God’s calling and enter it, in order to do God’s will.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 20:29-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Blind Men Pitied and Healed

Matthew 20:29-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Blind Men Pitied and Healed

Matthew 20:29-34 – Two Blind Men Pitied and Healed

|| Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

MT20:29 And as they traveled on their way from Jericho[1] a large crowd followed them. MT20:30 And, look! two blind men[2] were sitting beside the road and having heard that Jesus was passing by they cried out, saying, “Sir, have mercy on us, Son of David!” MT20:31 When the crowd rebuked the blind men to keep quiet they cried out even more, yelling, “Sir, have mercy on us, Son of David!” MT20:32 Now stopping before them, Jesus raised his voice to them and said, “What do you wish me to do?” MT20:33 The blind men said to Jesus, “Sir, open our eyes that we might see!” MT20:34 Moved with great compassion,[3] Jesus touched their eyeballs and instantly they could see again and they followed[4] after him.

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[1] On their way from Jericho: Mark 10:46 has this, “And they came into Jer’i·cho.” This would be a simple typo or editing problem easy to correct unless there was a truth behind the two different versions. Jericho was a dual city so one may exit one part and enter the next without a contradiction.

[2] Two blind men: Mark 10:46 reports only one, “Bartimae’us (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar.” The fact that Mark provides the name may indicate a later association in early Christianity. Mark focuses on the one known individual and for his own reasons ignoring the other. Luke 18:35 only says, “a certain blind man.”

[3] Great compassion: Or, RSV: pity; NEB: deeply moved.

[4] They followed: This may mean they went along with the crowd, or that they became his followers. The fact Mark names one of them may indicate he became a disciple.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 20:24-28 – Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

|| Mark 10:41-45; Luke 22:24-27

MT20:24 Having heard this the other ten [apostles] became indignant[1] at the brothers [James and John]. MT20:25 But Jesus asked the disciples to present themselves, then he told them: “You are aware that the non-Jewish rulers lord it over their subjects;[2] and, the ‘greats’ wield authority over others. MT20:26 Not so among you.[3] Rather, whoever wishes to be ‘great’ must be your slave. MT20:27 Whoever wishes to be prominent[4] must be your slave. MT20:28 Just as the Son of Humankind came not to be served[5] but to serve and to sacrifice his soul[6] [Isaiah 53:12] as a ransom[7] in the place of many.”[8]

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[1] Indignant: RHM: sorely displeased; RIEU: grumbled; PME: highly indignant. We can only imagine the jealous feelings of the others who had their own political ambitions, particularly Judas. Peter has already been given a special trust and he must have had his own feelings regarding this matter.

[2] Non-Jewish rulers lord it over their subjects: Or, KJV: the princes of the Non-Jews exercise dominion; RIEU: the rulers of the pagans exercise despotic powers; NOR: the heathen rulers are high-handed; NEB: in the world, rulers lord it over their subjects.

[3] Not so among you: Or, KJV: it shall not be so among you; KNX: with you it must be otherwise; BER: but among you it’s different. This is a command from the Lord that authoritarian tyranny will be absent from genuine disciples of Jesus. We find in Jesus the perfect example of a true leader within the Christian framework: a humble and loving model who asks nothing of his fellows that he himself will not do. Not once does the Nazarene take advantage of his followers by living a life-style better than they.

[4] Prominent: Or, KJV: chief; TCNT: first place.

[5] Came not to be served: Or, GDSP: not to be waited on.

[6] To sacrifice his soul: Or, KJV: give his life; NEB: to surrender his life. On the subject of “soul” or, PSYCHE see articles elsewhere: Where Are the Dead?

[7] Ransom: Or, WMS: ransom price; WEY: redemption price. Research the word ransom.

[8] In the place of many: Or, RHM: instead of many. See Mark 10:45; Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7, 14; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 9:15 {concerning redemption & ransom for all}.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Matthew 20:20-23 – A Selfish Request Rejected

|| Mark 10:35-40

MT20:20 Later[1] the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and bowed[2] wishing to ask a favor from him. MT20:21 Jesus asked her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Promise[3] that my two sons may be enthroned with you[4] in your kingdom – one on your left and one on your right.” MT20:22 But Jesus answered her, “You do not realize[5] what you are asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?”[6] The [two disciples] said, “We are able!” MT20:23 Jesus told them, “You will really drink my Cup. However, this sitting on my right and left is not my decision to make.[7] Rather it belongs to those my Father has prepared.”[8]

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[1] Later: Some time has elapsed from the mountain retreat.

[2] Bowed: The Greek is PROSKUNOUSA. Or, KJV: worshipping him; KNX: falling on her knees; TCNT: bowing to the ground. Research the word worship.

[3] Promise: Or, KJV: grant; ASV: command; PME: please say.

[4] Enthroned with you: Literally, “sit.” Compare Revelation 3:21. See notes on Matthew 19:28.

[5] You do not realize: It is likely this is directed at the two disciples, James and John, also called the “sons of thunder.” The parallel accounts have them making the request (likely through their mother). Or, NEB: you do not understand; MON: none of you know what you are asking.

[6] To drink the cup I am about to drink: The KJV adds: baptized with the baptism. The “cup” is something to drink, share, or partake of. Compare notes on Matthew 26:39 (Mark 14:36; John 18:11). Paul says something similar at Romans 6:3-5. The disciples are destined to share a fate and life course similar to their Lord.

[7] Not my decision to make: Literally, KJV: not mine to give. It seems evident that there are certain matters that are the prerogative of the Father. Compare Acts 1:7. The Son has limited authority and knowledge while the Father’s is absolute.

[8] It belongs to those my Father has prepared: Or, KJV: it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared; KNX: it is for those for whom my Father has destined it; NEB: it is for those to whim it has already been assigned. The conclusions drawn from this are many. Some see predestination here. Others hold different views. It is interesting that the Nazarene just doesn’t say there are no such privileged positions in heaven. The whole subject still relates back to the appointment of Peter in Matthew 16:18 and the ongoing argument over who is the greatest among them. We ourselves are embarrassed that two of the apostles would get their mother to ask the Lord for this privilege. How the others felt we will now see.

The Greek word translated “prepared” is HETOIMASTAI. “Strong’s #2090 HETOIMAZO {het-oy-mad’-zo} from 2092; TDNT – 2:704, 266; AV – prepare 29, make ready 10, provide 1; 40. 1) to make ready, prepare; 1a) to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready; 2) metaph. 2a) drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable; 2b) to prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings.” The main idea may be no more than that God has purposed something according to His will and thus has made all the preparations necessary to accomplish this.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:17-19 – Onward to Jerusalem!

|| Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-33

MT20:17 On the way during their ascent to Jerusalem Jesus led the twelve disciples to a private spot. On the path there, he said to them: MT20:18 “Look! We are ascending to Jerusalem and there the Son of Humankind will be turned in to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death. MT20:19 They will turn him over to the non-Jews.[1] They will scourge and make fun of him before impaling[2] [Psalm 22:1-18] him. On the third day he will be raised up.”

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[1] Non-Jews: Or, NEB: foreign power; RHM: nations; RIEU: pagans; GDSP: heathen. See notes on Non-Jews and ETHNOS.

[2] Impaling: The Greek is STAUROSAI. Or, KJV: crucify him.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:8-16 – Last, First; First, Last

MT20:8 “When evening arrived the landlord of the vineyard said to the overseer,[1] ‘Call the workers and give them their wages beginning with the last [men hired] until the first.’ MT20:9 The eleventh hour workers each received a denarius. MT20:10 Now the first workers hired concluded they would receive more, but each of them received also a denarius. MT20:11 But having been paid they began to murmur against[2] the landlord, MT20:12 saying, ‘These last fellows worked just one hour while we have born the whole burden during the hottest part[3] of the day.’ MT20:13 The landlord responded telling one of them, ‘Fellow, I have not wronged you.[4] Did we not agree on a denarius? MT20:14 Take your pay and leave. I wish to pay the last workers the same as I paid you. MT20:15 Am I not allowed to do whatever I wish with what is mine?[5] Or, is your eye wicked[6] because I am good?’[7] MT20:16 So, those last will be first[8] and those who were first, last.”

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[1] Overseer: Or, MOF: bailiff; WMS: manager; GDSP: foreman.

[2] To murmur against: Or, TCNT: grumble; KNX: were indignant. Research the word murmur.

[3] We have born the whole burden during the hottest part: Or, ASV: born the burden of the day and the scorching heat; NEB: have sweated the whole day long in the blazing sun; GDSP: done the heavy work of the day and stood the midday heat. The issue is amount or degrees of work and the conditions under which one labors.

[4] Fellow, I have not wronged you: Or, KJV: friend, I do thee no wrong; TCNT: I am not treating you unfairly. The “you” is singular in Greek.

[5] Am I not allowed to do whatever I wish with what is mine: Or, RSV: am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me; MON: have I not the right to do what I choose with my own property.

[6] Is your eye wicked: See notes on Matthew 6:23. Compare Deuteronomy 15:9. Or, KJV: evil eye; RSV: begrudge my generosity; TCNT: envious; KNX: give me sour looks; NEB: jealous. It is a matter of how the eye looks as another.

[7] Because I am good: Or, RSV: my generosity; TCNT: I am liberal; NEB: I am kind. Research the word good.

[8] So, those last will be first: This may be the Nazarene’s moral or the words of the landlord. No matter how long, how hard, or under what conditions – the “workers” in the harvest receive the same wage: celestial glory. Compare Mark 9:35 (Mark 10:31). Some labor under self-righteous superiority because they have labored longer, and possibly harder, than newer members within the realm of profession.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

CHAPTER TWENTY:
EQUAL PAYMENT, A CUP TO DRINK,
AND SERVING OTHERS

[“Not Equal Pay for Equal Time”]
(Key word: Ransom)

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

MT20:1 “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a human landlord who went out early to hire workers [to work] in his vineyard. MT20:2 Having agreed with the workers for a denarius per day,[2] he sent them off into his vineyard. MT20:3 Now about the third hour[3] he saw other persons out of work[4] standing in the marketplace. MT20:4 And to these he said, ‘Go into the vineyard and I will pay you whatever is fair.’[5] MT20:5 These departed [for the vineyard]. Then again the landlord went out during both the sixth and ninth hours[6] and he did the same. MT20:6 Finally, about the eleventh hour[7] he went out and found still others standing around, and to these he said, ‘Why are you just standing around the whole day without work?’ MT20:7 These [unemployed] responded to him, ‘Because nobody hired us.’ The landlord told them, ‘Go [work] in my vineyard.’

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[1] Realm of Heaven may be compared to: There is something about the Church, the realm of profession, that is compared to the story that follows.

[2] A denarius per day: Or, KJV: a penny; GDSP: a dollar; NEB: the usual day’s wages; PME: a silver coin a day; WMS: twenty cents a day. Some estimate this at 16 cents (US). Whatever, it may be viewed as the day’s wage of a farmer worker. If the USA standard minimum wage were applied it would amount to $5.00 per hour or about $40 for a days work. The first workers he found at sunrise.

[3] Third hour: 9:00 AM, three hours after sunrise.

[4] Other persons out of work: The Greek is literally “non-work(er).” Or, KJV: others standing idle; BER: other workmen in the bazaar without employment; NOR: loafing, with nothing to do.

[5] I will pay you whatever is fair: Or, KJV: whatever is right.

[6] Sixth and ninth hours: Or, 12:00 noon and 3:00 PM.

[7] Eleventh hour: An hour before sunset.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: First Last – Last First

Matthew 19 Concerning the saved ones and those able to enter the Kingdom

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