MF Blume
May 28, 2000 pm

Matthew 19:16-20:1  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

Last week we turned to Matthew 19 and saw a thread of thought extending from Jesus discussion about divorce amd marriage on into the picture of the rich young ruler. When Jesus told the young ruler to forsake all and follow Him, He saw the man's refusal and went on to say that "in the regeneration" such people who today are considered FIRST shall be LAST, as a rebuke of the man's refual to follow. Peter spoke up and noted that the Disciples did forsake all and follow Him. The word regeneration means REBIRTH. The regeneration already began. Right now the disciples have a place of prominence. Peter and Andrew immediately followed Jesus when He bade them come.

James and John did likewise.

What a contrast to the rich young ruler!

And at the end of Chapter 19, Jesus said, "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." Let us read this story noted by Jesus after the issue of the rich man's refusal to follow Him, and learn how it explains His point.
Matthew 20:1-16  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired] about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Everyone received the same wage. When the master paid the servants, the same reward was given to the 11th hour workers as to the first hour workers. Those who come in FIRST place today, as far the world goes, will be LAST in the Kingdom of God. In the parable, the ones who worked all day were upset that they received the same as those who only worked one hour. The issue is willingness to obey Jesus. If you have not known God for too long, but were completely willing to do all His will whatever He desired, HE REWARDS YOU UPON THAT WILLINGNESS. The reason many are called but few chosen, is because many do not wish to willingly heed the calling. All of this illustrated what Jesus pointed out in the unwillingness of the rich young ruler to follow Him.

How is YOUR attitude towards God's will?

Let us search our hearts and see where we might be resisting the will of God. Are we humble enough to admit we are wrong? Many older saints think the whipper-snappers of the youth group have nothing on them. When Baptism is preached from the Bible, why do people resist it and shun it? If you are willing to do whatever He asks then you will be greatly rewarded.