By Ken Blue
July 19th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.
MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN #47 lion and lambMatthew 20:1-34 This parable is about the Kingdom of Heaven, and the application is similar, in some respects, to the previous chapter. Jesus said the fields are ripe for harvest, but the labors are few. Here, we see men standing idle. The lord went out at daybreak and hired them to work in his vineyard. They agreed on the wage which was a penny, about 65¢ per day. The time frame is 6:00 a.m.; 3rd hour, 9:00 a.m.; 6th hour, 12:00 noon; 9th hour, 3:00 p.m.; and 11th hour, 5:00 p.m. He never set a wage with those who were hired after the first ones. He only promised them that which is right. At the end of the day, He called all the labors and gave each person the same amount; a day’s wage. However, those hired first, and had labored all day, complained when the other receive the same amount as themselves. Dr. B. R. Lakin said, “No one cares what you have or know, as long as it is not more than they know or have.” Such is human nature.    Jesus told those who were first, that He did them no wrong. They were receiving as they agreed. The purpose of the parable is to show that those who were the first to labor in the Kingdom of Heaven ministry, will not necessarily receive greater rewards than those who come the last hour. Seniority does not count in God’s service. The only thing that will be acknowledged is faithfulness. Not all who serve the Lord have the same abilities, opportunities, or calling, but all can equally be faithful. Those who seek to be first, will not be chosen to be first. The Lord has a right to reward each man as He will.    Again, the Lord tell His disciples how He would be treated at Jerusalem. “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” Again, we see that they cannot hear what He is telling them. The reason for their deafness was their preconceived belief of what His ministry must be. Like many today, they cannot hear when one attempts to teach them right divisions of Scripture. They are locked into tradition, and a belief that things must be as they have always believed.    There is nothing like a mother’s love for her children. She was sincere in her worship, and desire for her sons. She knew He was the Messiah, and that He would establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. She wanted her sons to be first, and sit on His right and left hand. Jesus informed her that her that His Father was the one who would make that judgment. Also, it will be given to those who are worthy. The baptism and the cup speak of our Lord upcoming suffering. “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” Luke 12:50. “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Matthew 26:42. Jesus assured them that they too, would suffer for His sake. This request upset the other disciples, and they let it be known. They were insulted by the mother’s request. No doubt, they put their mother up to it. They were seeking first place in the Kingdom of Heaven, ahead of the other disciples. Jesus calmed them, and instructed them that none should seek a superior position or authority. This was the behavior of Gentiles. They were called to serve and sacrifice themselves for others. They would then be like the Son of man, who came to minister and give His life a ransom for many. As they departed Jericho, two blind men began to cry out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.” They too, acknowledged that He was the Messiah, the King of Israel. Their request was that He restore their sight. Some try to find a contradiction in the accounts of the healings of the blind. Dake’s notes help us understand the contrive apparent conflicts.
  • “Note the different circumstances, the occasions, and other points of difference in three cases of healing the four blind men at Jericho on this visit: 1. “As He was come nigh unto Jericho” (Lk. 18:35-43). 2. “As He went out of Jericho” (Mk. 10:46-52). 3. “As they departed from Jericho” (Mt. 20:29-34). This case had “two blind men” while in the others there was only one. What was said by the men and by Christ in each case is different, as well as the other facts, proving them to be three different cases and not one. Jericho was a city of 100,000 so three cases of blindness and healing is not unreasonable. Blindness and eye diseases are very common in the East today. The percentage is said to be about one in five. When we have variances in gospel accounts it is always wise to consider them as different cases instead of forcing them to be the same and blaming the writers for not being inspired. If the cases are the same and details vary, then let us realize that the writers are giving details which the Holy Spirit wants them to give for a specific purpose, that taken together they make a more complete story and that they supplement each other, not contradict each other. Even then no doubt many details are not given in any one case. All are not necessary (cp. Jn. 21:25). Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.
It is noteworthy, that the blind could see that He was Israel’s King, while the national leaders, who thought they could see, were blind. So it is today. The self-righteous cannot see their need for Him. Those who know they are blind sinners, willingly accept Him.
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