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MATTHEW CHAPTERS 19 & 20

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Mat 19-1,2

(143g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> Seeking Jesus to be healed – Much of Jesus’ ministry occurred between cities in rural areas, in places we would not expect. At the onset of His ministry He would go through towns preaching the gospel of the kingdom and heal people where they lived, and the people would run to their homes and neighborhoods telling their friends and relatives about Him, and they would come see Him; but once the word spread about Him, throngs of people crowded together and became disorderly, and it drew His enemies, the religious establishment, so He retreated to the countryside (Mk 1,40-45). People walked long distances to hear His word and brought many of their friends and relatives to be healed, and He attracted many people to Himself even in the country that it was the cause of Him feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish (Mk 6,33-46). He was leaving behind the institution of Israel’s ancient religion, represented by the priests, Scribes and Pharisees, whose power and prestige and their fame and glory were diminishing because of Jesus, and it was starting to affect their pocket books, being the root of their antagonism. Even after He healed innumerous people the Pharisees came to Him from a distance and asked Him a question in attempt to trip Him in His words so they would have a reason to accuse Him, asking Him questions about marriage, and His answer is the standard passage quoted at most weddings today. See also: Church's last days' wilderness will mirror Jesus' wilderness; Rev 17-3; 162c

Mat 19-2

(145c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus healed them all

Mat 19,3-9

(3d) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Marriage >> Advocating marriage – There are ways to stay together if the marriage isn’t doing well. The man should get a hobby that gets him out of the house and away from the wife for a while, giving them both a reprieve from each other, and the woman should do the same. They should find friends and spend time with them, so when they return, they had an opportunity to miss each other and maybe even learn to appreciate each other and might remember why they married in the first place. The saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” is a true adage. If a couple didn’t marry for love, the marriage was doomed from the start, but if they did marry for love, the same person is looking at him every day; it is the same pair of eyes she fell in love with. They are to find each other again; she’s still there, and the path they walked in marriage they walked together. Hardship has the same power of attraction; it is just a matter of interpretation.

(3f) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Divorce because of your hardness of heart We should go back to the Old Testament law at the time of Moses when these laws were written and note that if the marriage terminates without a certificate of divorce, they are breaking the Law, which was punishable by death or by excommunication from the tribes of Israel. This was a severe a recourse, especially since relationships are known to deteriorate. Divorce is essentially a clause within the Old Testament Law regarding marriage so a person can legally divorce, but a clause refers to an exception. Consequently, when divorce rates climb to two-thirds of all marriages, it is no longer a clause but a rule. Society is abusing the law of divorce, which is worse than breaking the law (Jm 4-11,12). Any society that has a divorce rate approaching seventy percent is worse than lawless; it is godless. Jesus allowed divorce only for the cause of adultery, saying that any other reason would produce a generation of adulterers. When people get divorced just because they don’t like each other anymore, God says it is not a legitimate cause. Divorce does not guarantee happiness, but when it becomes rampant in society it does guarantee unhappiness and social discontent. They want to be free to marry someone else whom they think would make them happy, but happiness cannot be found in another person other than Jesus Christ. Joy is a better personal goal in life and in marriages, since it comes from God and doesn’t depend on someone else. A person can have joy in the most adverse of circumstances, but seeking happiness from divorce is satanic deception. A nation of divorcees who hop from partner to partner between marriages, who start collecting fatherless children, whose lives have been torn apart, have received their reward? See also: What God has joined let no man separate; Mat 19,4-6; 1g

Mat 19,4-6

(1g) Responsibility >> Become all things to all men >> Blending together – It doesn’t say they become one person or one body but one flesh; that is, they share their flesh with each other, and this sharing creates a blending of their DNA, and when their genetic material mixes and becomes one, they have children, and these children build connections between the parents. This is why many couples who are thinking about divorce after they have children remain together. See also: What God has joined let no man separate; 188k

(188k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Sorrow >> Grieving over your own loss >> Grieving over the loss of others – The man (not the woman) leaves His father and mother and is joined to his wife. This would indicate that the wife’s relationship with her side of the family is largely unaffected by the marriage, but the man’s relationship with his parents changes, effectively cutting the apron strings. That is, there is a greater departure of the man from His parents than the woman from hers, and this partially has to do with the relationship that a son has to his mother. If the man doesn’t successfully “leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,” the mother can invade the marriage and ruin it; couple this with the woman’s greater need for security, having a greater need to keep in touch with her parents, and we have a complete picture of why Jesus’ teachings are relevant today. See also: What God has joined let no man separate; Mat 19-6; 135f

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Mat 19-6

(135f) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Consequences of abortion >> You dishonor your own body by aborting its fruit – When it said, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate,” he was talking about the man and the woman, but He was also talking about the DNA of their offspring. When the man and woman come together in sexual intercourse and bond their DNA, the man fertilizes her egg and she becomes pregnant. By this God has joined their DNA, and He said, ‘Therefore, let no man separate the two strands,’ and of course this is what happens in decomposition once the fetus has been aborted. The process of molecules in the cells that were dividing and multiplying and combining to form a new human being is terminated, and the cells and molecules disassemble and return to inert material. Jesus was speaking in both terms that the man and woman should remain together, and that the woman should not abort her fetus. See also: What God has joined let no man separate; Mat 19,3-9; 3f

Mat 19-8

(3e) Divorce (Key verse)

Mat 19,10-12

(3g) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Remaining single is better than divorce – The ability to remain single is a gift from God, but how many people in the Church recognize this? Married population tend to shun singles, instead of seeking what they have to offer the Church. God sanctions and rewards celibacy because it has tremendous potential to serve the Lord in a fuller way than married people (read First Corinthians chapter 7). Single people have more time and in some ways a greater need for God than married people, for married people have each other, and since their needs are unmet, God bestows a greater grace that drives them into a deeper relationship with Him. See also: Singles; 120l

(120l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Content with your way of life >> Content with remaining single -- Contentment comes with a powerful anointing that requires lots of Bible study and prayer to maintain; and through that contentment comes many good things that contentment promises. It is a high calling from God to remain content with being single, but it is a hard road, promising "undistracted devotion to the Lord," 1Cor 7-35. To devote our time to the Lord in whatever capacity He directs us can be very productive, and as a single person it is much easier to do. Single people have more time to read the Bible and pray. These two things if done in large quantities will make anyone a spiritual giant, who can then lead people into a closer truth, and thus cast out false teaching and help pinpoint the will of God for their church. See also: Singles; Mat 19-11; 71h

Mat 19-11

(71h) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Ordained by His sovereign will >> God chooses to work in you -- If anyone thinks they have decided to remain single for the Lord, it doesn't work that way, for God elects people to assume this noble role. Some think finding the right mate is an act of God; try remaining single! Since this is a position that God must ordain, married people should respect the single person's position in the Church and do more to make a way for their ministries as an expression of their devotion to Christ. If they don't, then they are suppressing the gifts of their own church and stunting its growth. See also: Singles; 136d

(136d) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Variation in the body -- The Church has an obligation to accept and respect single people in the Church and not look down on them as though they were inferior just because they are not married. God is about variation, while people are about conformity. God has made many species of plants, animals and insects, but people tend to be bigots when it comes to accepting people who are not just like them. If we are going to have a spirited church, we must do it God's way, and His way is having a large variation within the congregation: black and white, married and singles, gifted and ungifted. See also: Singles; Mat 19,10-12; 3g

Mat 19,13-15

(33d) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Kingdom belongs to the children of God

Mat 19-14

(224i) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Traits of the people who make it to heaven

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Mat 19,16-22

(5h) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your loyalty >> Your commitment to follow Jesus

(22e) Sin >> Greed takes without consideration for others >> Covetousness – The rich man was close to the Kingdom of God, but not close enough. He knew he was spiritually lacking and wanted to resolve the problem, but he wanted the solution to leave his money intact. Jesus quoted him all the commandments that the man kept, but omitted the one commandment that he did not keep. He never killed anyone, nor did he commit adultery; he didn’t need to steal, and he tried to avoid lying; he was honest with Jesus about his shortcomings. He honored his father and mother and he loved his neighbor as himself. So, he was a good man by human standards. The problematic commandment was, “You shall not covet.” This commandment Jesus purposely omitted in His list, for He didn't want the man to think his solution should come from the law. If the rich man made it to heaven, he would have to go through Christ. See also: Idolatry; 192c

(34m) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Give to the poor

(87i) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Those who obey believe in God >> Those who obey the word

(192c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your identity to gain God’s identity – The rich man’s wealth is where he drew his identity. His possessions were an idol to him, meaning that he failed to keep the first commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,” for in truth he loved his money more than God. Jesus was saying that he cannot love God and money; he must choose one or the other, proving that salvation is a marriage relationship with God. He was also saying that it would be almost impossible to transition his identity from his money to his faith so long as he remained in possession of his wealth, because it would remain a stumbling block to him. Remember the man who had to cut off his own hand to avoid sinning (Mat 18-8)? He would have repented long before bringing down the axe! The heart of man is deceitful beyond all things and is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17-9). We like to play mind-games with ourselves and say we no longer love our money when in fact we do, and for this reason Jesus prescribed liquidating his assets, for the act of doing so would disentangle his heart from the love of money as the prerequisite of letting go of it. See also: Idolatry; 195a

(195a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You can only love one at a time – There are people in the world who are very wealthy and are also saved, but their numbers are few, i.e. Joseph of Arimathea (Mk 15-43). This proves that it is not money that is evil but the love of it. It is rare for rich people to enter the Kingdom of Heaven because they must pursue their wealth with all their heart, soul, mind and strength in order to obtain it, which is exactly how God wants us to pursue Him. Money was very important to the rich man; his many possessions distinguished him from the so-called lower class of society. God wants our faith in Him to be the most important thing in our lives, overshadowing everything else so that the next important thing is irrelevant. The rich man had a relationship with his money, an inanimate bonding, that crowded his faith, which is the ultimate insult to God, like a husband who discovers that his wife has been cheating on him with a man who was fat, ugly and stupid. See also: Idolatry; 202a

(202a) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Man’s will over God >> Man is unwilling to walk in God’s grace – The story of the rich young ruler appears opposite the Roman Road. The rich man seemed required to do something in order to be saved, but that is not what is actually happening here. Jesus intentionally left out the one commandment of which the rich man was in violation, “You shall not covet.” The rich man knew he was lacking something; that is, he knew His love of money was standing between he and God, and it acted like a great crevasse. There is a giant wall of sin that stands in the way of every man from reaching God, and Jesus made a door in that wall through His own blood, so we can enter through the door of Christ into fellowship with God, but the door is small and the the rich man was carrying a large backpack and couldn't squeeze through the small opening of the door (v24). If he were going to make it through this door, he would have to unburden himself. See also: Idolatry; 250h

(250h) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> The first is a precondition for what comes after it (Cause and effect) – Obtaining God’s favor has always been an ongoing issue with mankind; even the Israelites had a problem with it; they thought they had to obey the Law in order to win God’s favor, but the fact is they already had His favor by evidence that they were God’s chosen people, His representative nation where He chose to place His name. The same goes for us; we come to God with a dedicated faith, but before we make the first move He had already accepted us based on the blood sacrifice that Jesus made of His own flesh (Rom 5-8). The rich young ruler wanted to know what he could do to achieve God’s favor, and Jesus’ answer was to sell all His possessions and give to the poor. Liquidating his possessions was not to achieve God’s acceptance but to remove the obstacle that stood between himself and God, for until then his faith was incomplete, and Paul said that we are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2-8,9). See also: Idolatry; Mat 19,16-21; 90e

Mat 19,16-21

(90e) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It leads us to God -- The rich man knew he was lacking something; he wanted a list of commandments he was neglecting so he could work on them in order to be complete, but Jesus gave him the list that he was already doing. Jesus neglected to tell him the commandment that he was not doing: "Do not Covet," because the rich man was powerless to keep it, since he was in bondage to the love of money. Note that violating any one of the Ten Commandments automatically violates the foremost commandment of all: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6-4,5). Instead of giving him commandments, Jesus gave him an assignment: liquidate his assets and give the proceeds to the poor. His assignment was equivalent to fulfilling the requirements of the law, but Jesus de-emphasized the law to show that the rich man had issues with his heart, which the law was powerless to cure. There was an instance when Jesus said to another man that he was not far from the Kingdom of God, who exonerated love above sacrifice (Mk 12,32-34), but he did not say this to the rich man. See also: Idolatry; 250ka

(205ka) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith versus the law >> The work of faith versus the works of the law – Isn’t this what Israel believed that if they kept the Law they would find favor with God? This diametrically opposes the teaching of Scripture! Jesus was showing the rich young ruler that there was an obstacle in the way of his faith, and that he had to remove it before he could believe in God. How was Jesus' advice different from telling him to clean up his life before he could come to God? The rich young ruler could have pledged repentance to Jesus and been save on that very day (Lk 19,1-10), for the covenant of salvation is based on promises: God's promise to us and our promise to Him. We pledge our heart to God and He saves us on the spot. At all Billy Graham’s revival meetings he played the song “Just as I am”? Why then did Jesus teach the rich man to deal with his sin before he could get saved? The Law is a list of obstacles that get in the way of faith, so we cannot realistically believe in Jesus until we remove them. Pledging allows us to enjoy God's salvation the moment we commit to believe in Jesus. We use the Law to determine if our faith is real, for the Law is still in effect for those who violate its ordinances. If we are in violation of any of the commandments, we need to repent, for breaking the Law violates our faith. If we are not born-again, we need to pledge our repentance to God, confess our sin, and God will save us, filling us with His Spirit, and God will help us deal with our sin later. See also: Idolatry; Mat 19-16; 89e / Rom 13,8-10; 90h

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Mat 19-16

(89e) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wise questions – There is nothing we can do to gain God’s favor, nothing we can do to make ourselves worthy of His grace and forgiveness, for there is nothing we own that God wants or needs, except our heart. Yet, there is a popular question: “What must I do to be saved?” On the one hand the question is relevant, but on the other, it indicates that the person doesn’t understand salvation. Paul said it was a free gift, like receiving a free ticket to the theater, transportation not included, where the trip to the theater represents the Christian journey, and along the way God has things for us to do. We need to make a commit to faith as disciples of Jesus. To some the word “disciple” sounds like fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. The Church is full of people who understand through the teachings of Paul and Luther’s reformation that salvation is a free gift, but they don't understand what they must do to receive it. We must pledge our entire lives to God, as in a marriage relationship; anything less is not faith. The reason it is a gift is that salvation comes before discipleship. If discipleship came first, salvation would be payment for our services, but salvation is first, demonstrating God’s trust in us, but if we don't fulfill our end of the promise and repent, we have broken the trust. God trusts that we will become His disciples after He deposits His Holy Spirit in us on the day we believed. From that point, the life-long process of maturity begins. We have good days and bad days; we commit sin; we confess and repent, and God freely forgives our trespasses without question or hesitation. We are heaven-bound as a result of His grace and mercy that He has placed in us. The fact that God saved us before we became His disciples proves that His grace is a gift, but this rich young ruler had it backwards like so many other people, who think they must do something to be saved. See also: Idolatry; Mat 19,16-22; 22e

(166c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Man’s wisdom excuses his sinful nature >> Man’s wisdom wants to earn his ticket to heaven -- This verse goes with verse 20

(174d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Trying to please God by your own good works -- This verse goes with verse 20

Mat 19-20

(174d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Trying to please God by your own good works -- This verse goes with verse 22

Mat 19,21-26

(20l) Sin >> Disobedience >> Paying no attention to the word

Mat 19-21,22

(234i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Relinquishing your assets to Christ >> Dispose of every asset except Christ -- Juggling the love of money and materialism with the Kingdom of God is tricky, since the two are essentially opposites of each other. This is difficult to understand for some people who believe in earthly riches, because it has blinded their eyes to the wealth of following Christ. They are unable to understand that God is more real and more applicable in this world than money. Perhaps we don't believe because we have never seen the Church living and walking in the power of God. Some day the Church will come to this, and when it does, it will make believers of people who once doubted.

Mat 19-21

(192a) Gain By Losing -- A Paradox (Key verse)

Mat 19-22

(166c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Man’s wisdom excuses his sinful nature >> Man’s wisdom wants to earn his ticket to heaven -- This verse goes with verse 16

(174d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Trying to please God by your own good works -- This verse goes with verse 16

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Mat 19,23-26

(92g) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> What kind of trail is this? >> Gate is small and few are those who find it

(249i) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world's wealth erodes good values >> Being a slave to wealth

Mat 19-23,24

(224k) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Traits of people who don’t make it to heaven – Being rich in this life is one of the traits of those who don’t make it to heaven, but that doesn’t mean all rich people go to hell; in fact, there are many examples in the New Testament of wealthy people who believed in Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, for example, donated his own tomb at Christ's death and helping with the burial of Jesus' body, wrapping Him in a shroud. There were many other examples in the Bible of wealthy people who believed in Jesus, but these are all cases of camels going through the eye of a needle, which refers to a place in Israel called “The Eye of a Needle”. It is a narrow passageway that a camel can barely traverse, requiring the travelers to unburden the beast before passing through this narrow pathway on a cliff face. This is a good example of Christianity of a believer who must unburden himself of his excess baggage before we can walk through the door that the blood of Christ has made in the wall of sin that is erected between God and man. All the things we think we need weigh us down and hinder our ministry that we perform on the path that God has prepared for us.

Mat 19-26

(213a) God Is All Powerful (Key verse)

(213b) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all powerful >> All things are possible with God – There is a location near Israel called the Eye of a Needle, a narrow opening on a trail that is just big enough for an unfettered camel to fit through the gap. Although it is difficult for a camel to scuttle through this small underpass, it is even harder for rich people to get saved, whose greed acts like a burdensome backpack that prohibits them from squeezing through the narrow door that Christ made in the wall of sin with His own blood. In fact, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a literal needle than for a rich man to sell all his property and give the proceeds to the poor. There will be some people in heaven that were rich in this life, but they will be few. Salvation is impossible for rich or poor people without God's help.

Mat 19,27-30

(192i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Gain God’s kingdom to lose the domain of darkness >> Gain heaven to lose the world -- We have a choice of heaven or this world, but we can't have both, because the world and God's kingdom are opposites. He said that if we leave our family, our home or our business for the gospel's sake, God will reimburse us here on earth (we don't have to wait for it) many times over, while also securing our place in heaven with pleasures forevermore. However, if we pursue the things of this world, we will receive our reward in full.

Mat 19-28

(224l) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The holy of holies >> The throne room of heaven -- The Holy of Holies is a place of judgment, and anyone allowed to enter becomes a judge of those who are outside the walls of the holy city. All have been invited to enter through the door that continually stands open; therefore, they are judged for be being outside the city (Rev 3-8,9)? 

Mat 19-30

(56b) Paradox >> Lose by gaining >> Lose your place by seeking the first place – This is a kingdom principle of heaven: those who are first in this life will be last in the life to come, and those who put themselves last in this life will be made first in heaven. The problem with many people in the Church today, they don’t care about heaven; instead, they have made Christianity to be about this life. Those in charge have figured out ways to see the Church and the gospel as an institution that was intended for this life, and let the life to come care for itself, but the Bible teaches just the opposite. We should seek God for His purpose and calling, and let this life care for itself (Mat 6-33,34). If we enjoy the first place now, we will receive the last place in heaven, if we get there at all. By the time Christ gets to us all the rewards will be given, and God will tell us that we had our reward in full. This is the best-case scenario for worldly people who make it to heaven, because most worldly people and fence-riders won’t be going there. Jesus in so many words, along with all the apostles and writers of the New Testament have taught us to sacrifice this life as a means of serving Christ and others, for receiving the first place requires a commitment, one that we should have made to the Lord. The gospel is not about other people serving us but about we serving other people.

(56i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Last is first and the first is last – The first place in heaven is a place of service. Who wants that? We need to understand that the place of servitude in the Kingdom of Heaven is a place of honor. It is a place where people are given responsibilities. The more a person serves, the more honor he receives, and so the person who does not serve is not honored. We work hard for Jesus in this life that we might receive a position in His kingdom where we are allowed to serve others all the more, for the more we serve the more honor we receive, and the closer position we enjoy with Christ, who is the servant of all.

(224j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Those in heaven are blessed indeed

 

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MATTHEW CHAPTER 20

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Mat 20,1-16

(13l) Servant >> Serve God though small in stature >> Least is the greatest Beyond the denarius, God will richly reward us with many blessings and with great authority and power, and these will cause us to shine like the stars of heaven. Each of us will have a different radiance, based on our service to Him in this life, yet all these things will pale to the denarius that represents our place in heaven. God will give us each a token of eternal life but gives us all differing rewards based on our faithfulness to Him. Here on earth in the flesh we all rate each other, but in heaven we will be among righteous souls made perfect, and there is no competition, no superiority and no striving to be better than others. Greatness will be measured by the least of us. We will walk on streets of gold, yet no one will excavate a brick and take it home for his personal stash. Heaven shines with a brilliance of crystal-clear jasper (Rev 21-11), yet its only real value is Jesus Christ. See also: Equality in heaven; 225b

(35d) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> No partiality with God’s generosity

(225b) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> Equality in heaven This parable is really one of the best descriptions of heaven in the Bible. Those who worked the shortest period received the greatest pay if we calculated their wage on an hourly basis. However, according to this parable, God doesn’t pay an hourly wage, but a salary—one flat rate. Regardless of how long we have worked we will all receive the same amount. What does this salary represent? Everyone has something in common in heaven: our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life! Just the fact that our name is on the roster and we are standing in the presence of God overshadows all the rewards people will receive beyond that. No matter how long we have labored in the hot sun as Christians, we go to heaven like the guy who got saved on his death bed. Our presence in heaven is our reward for believing in Jesus, and the crowns we wear for our faithful service we will cast at the foot of the throne in derision compared to the ultimate reward of simply being there (Rev 4-10). See also: Equality in heaven; 226d

(225d) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about wealth >> Parables about a land owner and his farm

(226d) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Our inheritance is reserved in heaven – There will be those who will enter heaven by the skin of their teeth, and there will be others who will have lived most of their lives for the Lord, and they will all receive the same amount. This denarius (a coin given as a day’s wages) represents our ticket to heaven, furnished by the indwelling Holy Spirit, signifying that anybody who believes in Jesus for eternal life is welcome. Jd-22,23 says, “Have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” “Snatching them out of the fire” suggests being saved on their deathbeds. Their whole lives they never served the Lord or made a commitment to follow Jesus. In unbelief they lived for themselves, but at the very last moment someone came to their bedside with the gospel of Christ and they believed and were saved. When their spirit passed from their body they were escorted to the presence of God, where they found mercy and received a denarius, the same amount as the person who was born-again at the age of twelve and spent seventy years in service to God. This denarius is worth more than anything we will ever own. There is no money in heaven, so this denarius is the only coin we will possess. If we were to think of this denarius as an hourly wage, the man who got saved on his deathbed did very well, while the one who served God his whole life made a fraction of a penny per hour. When we compare this parable to the parable of the mina (Lk 19,11-27), where ten servants each got one, and on their master’s return, they divulged their investments, He said to the one who made five minas, “You are to be over five cities.” This parable suggests that a period of time had elapsed, and during that time His servants were expected to be productive. This is not necessarily the case with the denarius. The master sent his servants into his field, but if they didn’t work very hard, there were no consequences. However, nothing says that the man on his deathbed will ever be mayor of a town, but at the same time the lesson of the denarius is that being mayor means nothing compared to the privilege of living in heaven forever. See also: Equality in heaven; Mat 20-2; 17l

(236e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your strength into the kingdom >> Invest your labors

Mat 20-2

(17l) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Discerning by the flesh >> Making distinctions between each other -- This verse goes with verses 8-16. This parable is about the blessing that everyone in heaven will have in common by simply being there. His reward for working with the grace of God
to promote His kingdom in the world will pale in comparison to His gift of mercy. According to the parable, all a person had to do was agree to work for the land owner, and he got a denarius (a day's wages); it had nothing to do with how long or how hard he worked. Conversely, rewards are based on the productiveness of each person. They all worked different hours under different circumstances and had different jobs, but each denarius is the same. To enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must have a token (Eph 1-13,14). In the parable the workers compared themselves with each other, complaining that some worked longer than others, bearing the heat of the day, yet received the same pay as the late-comers and thought it was unfair, but Jesus said that fairness had nothing to do with it. Thus, the last are first and the first are last.
 See also: Equality in heaven; Mat 20,1-16; 13l

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Mat 20,8-16

(17l) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Discerning by the flesh >> Making distinctions between each other -- These verses go with verse 2. There are two ways we could look at this land owner, either as generous to the last-hired or as stingy to the first-hired. Jesus called him generous. We have all met people who consider themselves discerning, but discern only the faults of others and not their strengths. They are the ones who are sensitive in the flesh to peoples’ negative idiosyncrasies, but have no inkling of the positive things God is working in them. Note that they are most sensitive to the sins that they also practice. This is by no means true discernment, but borderlines on witchcraft. These people have a problem comprehending true justice, being convinced by their own opinions to give God a chance to demonstrate fairness by His own justice, which starts with wisdom, then forgiveness, generosity and compassion, none of which His accusers have.

(56i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Last is first and the first is last

Mat 20-11

(158b) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Strife >> Grumbling

Mat 20-14,15

(216k) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> You cannot control God’s desire for you >> man is not in control of God’s gift

Mat 20,17-19

(100j) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to God >> Fulfill God’s calling in your life

(234g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Completely given over to the will of God

(241ia) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Kill Jesus by the predetermined plan of God >> Jesus forewarned His disciples

Mat 20,20-28

(73a) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Kingdom of God is opposite of the world -- Whatever authority people have in the Church, whether they be pastors or lay persons, they should express an equal amount of humility toward the saints, or they will run the Church like a business. James and John were the two sons of Zebedee; Jesus denied the request of their mother that her two sons sit at His right and left hand in the kingdom of heaven. They probably put their mother up to making this request, knowing that Jesus would agree to it if they personally asked Him. Those positions were reserved for two specific saints who lived as the greatest servants of all time. In the world we don't need to be a servant to have great authority; we only need the gift of gab, a touch of narcissism, stubborn pride and selfish ambition that does not accept mediocrity, but humility and servitude are unneeded; they are not even recommended to succeed in the world. However, the Church is not set up that way; in fact, if we stumble into a church that is not based on servitude from the top down, then run from that church and never look back, because their leaders are invariably abusing the flock. When we think of Jesus as the Son of God who never abused His authority, His level of humility as the son of man is unsearchable. See also: greatest is least, least is greatest; Mat 20,24-28; 164d

Mat 20,20-23

(241c) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Ask but don’t receive >> Asking with wrong motives

Mat 20-22,23

(42k) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to the glory of Christ’s death

(229i) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking of Jesus’ suffering >> The sin nature partakes of Jesus' suffering

Mat 20-23

(71g) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Ordained by His sovereign will >> God chooses you

(219j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> God’s calling is our destiny

(224j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Those in heaven are blessed indeed

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Mat 20,24-28

(84h) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Gossip >> Attacking a person’s character

(164d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan rules the world >> Satan is a tyrant over the world -- The ways of the world are accepted by nearly everyone, but the world was unacceptable to Jesus because He knew a better way. The Kingdom of God which will span the entire universe and reign forever and ever will be run by the least of us, which is also how He wants His church to operate at this present time. In the scheme of eternity, this temporal age is but a blip on a radar screen, which is how long this inverted system will last with the lesser serving the greater. Eternity will be based on a system where those who hold the greatest positions will serve those with less authority, thereby achieving equality, and it will last forever. No one will lord himself over others, because it will make them greater, and the greatest are least in the Kingdom of Heaven. See also: Greatest is least and the least greatest; Mat 20,25-28; 12n / Mat 26-30; 254a

Mat 20,25-28

(12n) Servant >> Jesus serves mankind >> Jesus is the son of man – This term "son of man" is not well understood and is thereby widely ignored. Jesus got into lots of trouble as the Son of God, though He rarely made that proclamation, but He offended no one when He claimed to be the son of man. To say that He was the Son of God was to say He had all power in heaven and on earth and was equal with the Father, but to say that He was the Son of man was to say that He was the humblest of all men, the youngest and servant of all, and that was not a threat to anyone. What most people fail to realize, though, is that power and humility go hand in hand (Jn 5-27). See also: greatest is least, least is greatest; Mat 20,26-28; 77i / Son of man (humility and power go together); Rev 14,14-20; 55i

(40d) Judgment >> Jesus judged the world through His own death – It says He gave His life a ransom for many, not for all. He died for all, but not all will receive Him. He took everyone’s sins upon Himself and experienced the horror of God’s judgment on the cross, yet most would deny Him and reject His offer of eternal life. Jesus went to the cross for those who would receive Him, who would become His Church and His Father’s worshippers, but for those who would reject Him, the cross became the basis of God’s judgment against them at the White Throne Judgment. The unbelief of those who reject Christ make His blood sacrifice worthless, but to those who believe in what Jesus did to cleans them from all unrighteousness in the eyes of God, the cross is the single most significant act that any man has ever done. Had the Church not received him there would be no cause to judge the wicked, but now that the Church has received Him, the cross has become the platform of God's judgment against unbelievers. By the Church's faithfulness God’s judgment on the wicked will stand and be exponentially intensified. The sins of His people He will forgive, but the sins of the wicked will remain a perpetual reminder of their rejection of Him and His ways. See also: God Judges the wicked through the cross; Rev 5,1-14; 71i

(56ka) Paradox >> Opposites >> Least are greatest >> Least are the greatest servants

(72g) Hierarchy of Authority (Key verse)

Mat 20,26-28

(77i) Thy kingdom come >> Tapping into the power of God through humility >> The most humble are the greatest servants -- The most faithful servants should have the greatest positions in the Church. Their ministries based on servitude should not be suppressed but exonerated by all who eat their fruit. The Church should make room for their gifts offered in humility. We should exalt them and reward their service and seek to imitate their behavior and zeal, and let them direct the Church into higher levels of spiritual knowledge and service, regardless of titles, degrees and diplomas. See also: greatest is least, least is greatest; Mat 20-28; 209i

Mat 20-28

(209i) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our sacrifice >> Jesus paid the price for us >> Jesus paid our ransom with His own blood – It is very encouraging for us to know that we are serving a God who is a servant. To the degree that Jesus was a servant on earth, He will be a servant in heaven. We do everything within our sphere of ability to serve Christ, but He will always serve us more. It is very encouraging to know that we are serving a God who is not an ogre, who doesn’t have the philosophy, ‘Do as I say and not as I do,’ who chose to demonstrate His wisdom in a practical sense instead of just telling us to behave. It is encouraging to know that when we get to heaven God will continue serving us, and he will give us opportunities to serve Him and others, and as a result our relationships will grow throughout eternity. Just as God entrusted us with His gospel in this life, so He will entrust us with many things in the life to come. It is good to know that we serve a God who loves us enough to let sinners tie Him to a post and whip the flesh off his back with a cat-o-nine tails, until His ribs and tendons, muscles and ligaments we exposed. He lost the vast majority of His blood at His flogging, being just about dead by the time they nailed Him to the cross. The amount of pain He endured for us was unimaginable. The first few strokes would be the worst; then the body goes into a state of shock, becoming deeply clouded by the trauma, but this doesn’t take away the horror of it all, and it certainly doesn’t take away His willingness to go through it for us. Jesus had personal reasons for going to the cross: He gained us, the Church. See also: greatest is least, least is greatest; Mat 20,20-28; 73a / Cross (Jesus was flayed with a cat-o-nine-tails); Mat 27-46; 37b

Mat 20,29-34

(144j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Methods of healing >> Healed by Jesus’ touch

Mat 20-34

(93k) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus as He lights the way

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