Matthew Chapter 20

"Discipleship. Rewards."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org/plough.htm

Matthew 20:1 "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."

Jesus is telling His disciples exactly what the kingdom of heaven is like, however He is putting it in terms that an earthly man can understand. In this analogy the kingdom of heaven is compared to a land owner that owns and operates a vineyard. He grows produce to sell and make a profit, and hires laborers to pick the produce in his vineyard.

The kingdom of heaven is also like this business operation, it also needs laborers.

Matthew 20:2 "And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard."

At the time of this writing, the penny was the monetary unit given for a full days labor of a man in the field. The laborers knew the task they had to do, the time it took, and the amount that they would receive. Management and labor had come to terms, and it was fair and just.

Matthew 20:3 "And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,"

When it is picking season, the vineyard needs all the laborers that it can get, and the Master of the vineyard hired all those that were standing by at the third hour; or about nine o'clock.

Matthew 20:4 "And said unto them; 'Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.' "

The Master of the vineyard agreed that at the end of the day, he would be just. And they went into the vineyard and worked.

Matthew 20:5 "Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise."

He did the same thing in the sixth hour, or at noon, and in the ninth hour, and He guaranteed them also that He would be fair also with them.

At this point, don't forget that we are talking about an analogy, or comparison of the kingdom of Heaven, which is the king Jesus Christ and His domain, and the vineyard and the Master of that vineyard. Keep in mind also just who the vine is and who the branches are.

Matthew 20:6 "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?' "

Here it is now at 5 P.M. and the Master went out and hired one last group of idle laborers, standing by, and He sent them to the field to pick for Him. There is only time for one hour of work, and the day is finished.

This is very similar to the period of time we are in today as we are approaching the end of this flesh age very rapidly. We are coming up also on that final hour of temptation, spoken of throughout the entire Bible.

Matthew 20:7 "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.' "

The Master is telling these men also to trust Him for their wages, for He is going to guarantee a fair wage. So we have people that have gone to the field at dawn, 9 A.M., noon, 3 P.M., and now at 5 P.M. when it is almost quitting time.

Matthew 20:8 "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.' "

The Master of the vineyard called his steward in, the man that controls the financial affairs of the business, and tells him to go and pay the workers. Then He tells the steward to pay the workers in the reverse order then they were hired. The five o'clock workers were to be paid first, and those hired at the dawn, and worked all day were to be paid first.

So at this time there is something that you must understand, or you will miss the entire meaning of the analogy. In this earth age, it is the elect of God that will live in the last period of time, for it is them that God has set aside to stand against Satan, the Antichrist, as he sets up his one world system. God has set them aside for a purpose for one reason, they have studied His word, and the Spirit of God has revealed the truth of the end times to them. The understanding of that knowledge is what is called being "sealed of God".

The next question would be, When were these elect chosen? Ephesians 1:4; "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and with out blame before Him in love:" Jesus is telling us that He has chosen us before the foundations of this earth, meaning "this earth age".

Why did He chose them at that time? Because they earned it. They were first to stand in that first earth age, but in this last, they stood at that final hour of temptation, when all others were deceived by the Kenites, and the rest of Satan's deceptions that will cover the earth very shortly. In this earth age, they are the last to stand and work for the master.

Matthew 20:9 "And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny."

This is the full wages for the man that worked all day. It was the agreed amount between first workers hired in the day, and the master.

Matthew 20:10 "But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny."

When these workers that worked the full day got their wage, the grumbling started. They thought they deserved far more because of what the ones got that worked only one hour.

Do you see not what Jesus is directing this analogy to? It will come to life in a few verses. In the first place, if you do not have a clear picture of the overall plan of God, and that even includes the "world that was", and what went on there; you will not be able to understand what this chapter of "first from last" is all about.

Those that worked last, and were chosen from the first, and they have earned far more then the others combined. They have earned it from the "overthrow", or the which is the time when Satan rebelled against God, and brought a third of the angelic host down with him.

Getting back to the analogy; the good Master met these workers at dawn, in the early morning hours, and they needed work. They needed money, which is just as it is today. The agreed wage was set at a penny a day, for the "penny' is the term for a mans daily wage. Now after the day is over, these all day workers are complaining, because they don't understand the meaning of the first is last and the last is first.

Matthew 20:11 "And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,"

Matthew 20:12 "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.' "

I can just see these people looking at their penny and belly-aching, as they look over at the others with the same amount.

Matthew 20:13 "But he answered one of them, and said, 'Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?"

The answer to that is yes, it is exactly what was agreed to.

Matthew 20:14 "Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee."

The master told these workers to take their penny, and get down the road. I'll pay these men what I want to pay them. After all He is the owner of it all.

Matthew 20:15 "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?"

The master is explaining that before He paid them their wage, all the pennies belonged to Him, and thus it was all up to the master what he wanted to do with it. Apply this to salvation, and the ability to offer it to whomever He wants to offer eternal life to. We are living in a period of time where the Gentile peoples are being grafted on the trunk of the true whole House of Israel.

The time is coming when salvation by grace will be withheld, for Revelation 9:4 tells us that when the Antichrist comes, you will either be sealed in your mind of the truth of God's Word, or you will be turned over to Satan the Antichrist, and God will send you down the road, so to speak, because of your ignorance to His Word.

Our Heavenly Father has His eternal plan, and every thing that happens in this earth age is part of that plan. He doesn't overlook people, or lose them, nor does He forget the rewards and blessings. that are to be given to His faithful. Their is a reason for everything that happens, and even though we can not understand God's perfect plan, He does. Many times we see others blessed far more then us, and we try to compare our blessing to there's, and it just doesn't seem fair. It is easy to apply our reason and thinking, and come up with an evil eye, when the only good thing is what comes for the Heavenly Father. The ignorance of man, causes him to be confused, because he just doesn't have the whole picture of God's plan for the ages.

Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

Now we know exactly who we are talking about, "the chosen" of God, those few that are called the elect, who will have studied and known the truth of the events of the end of this age, and have the courage to prevent themselves from being deceived. We know from Ephesians 1:4 that these "chosen" were selected to be His elect from before this earth age of the flesh begin, and God predestinated us to be His children, because He has adopted us. We become God's children and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, by having our sins blotted our, because of His death on the cross, and His resurrection.

Friend, if you understand the events of these end times, and will have the ability to see through the Antichrist's deceptions, and lying wonders, it is no accident. Many people go down the isle today, and go through a formality of being saved, and they have no idea what they are doing, or what they even did. They don't understand who God is, or what sin is, they only know that they were convinced to do what they did. Many of these ignorant souls will parade right after the Antichrist when he arrives, because just like their conversion, they did what they were told to do.

Those souls that are brought back to live their life in the flesh body in this earth age, were brought back because they did not fall in the first age, and even though many will be fresh converts, so to speak, in the flesh body and the time is very short [five months, Revelation 9:5], They will receive the same reward for their stand, as that dear soul that lived and loved the Lord for sixty years.

So man in the flesh body, when he doesn't know the Word of God, can be rather short sighted.

There are things that happened that have to do with the overthrow of that first earth age that are blanked from man's memory, while he exists in the flesh body. Many of these things are recorded as mysteries in the Scripture. There were things that happened in that first age, and there were souls that were chosen first. Those souls are called "God's elect", and in the Hebrew tongue, they are called the "Zadok". They were chosen first because they earned it.

The "Good man" [master], which is the "householder" is Almighty God, and he keeps good books and records. It is quite sad that the number of people that even know that there was a first earth age before this one, is so few. Yet that first earth age is recorded in our Bible that we may know and not be confused, as the events of these last days start to unfold. God does nothing by accident, and everything that will happen is in His plan for the ages, and for us to understand, we must study. However it is easier to sit back and let the Kenites do your thinking for you. That is exactly what Satan would prefer.

There are many the hear the call that is in the word, yet they just don't understand, and to some, they just don't have a choice in the matter.

Remember when Paul was on the road to Damascus on a mission, and his free will was to murder Christians. He had the authority, and official notice in his pocked, and he was capable of doing the job. To drag the women and children into the street and kill some of them if He chose. The orders for Paul's actions were from the top of the religious community; that is what Paul's free will and he was zealous to get the job done. When God struck him down on the road, Paul's free will submitted to God's plan, and Paul was changed to become just a zealous for God as he was prior to the religious leaders.

When was Paul chosen for this work of God? Paul was chosen from the beginning age, that first earth age. Again the first is last and the last is first. Many are called, but few are chosen. The chosen of God shall perform His works.

Matthew 20:17 "And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,"

This is not a public announcement, but only to His twelve disciples.

Matthew 20:18 "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and the shall condemn Him to death,"

The chief priests and the scribes are the top of the religious community. If you are a follower of Christ, you want to watch out for the religious community. Their minds today are similar to those of the past. In the name of religion, countless millions have been slaughtered. Jesus is telling the disciples to prepare for what is going to happen, and that the purpose of Christ's coming was to die.

Matthew 20:19 "And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again."

If this sounds like bad news, then you just don't understand God's Word. This verse gives us the complete plan of God, and it is the good news for all mankind. This is the fulfillment of the the promise of God from the Garden of Eden, that the Messiah would come to earth and bruise the head of Satan. By Christ going to the cross, we have the right to overcome eternal death.

I Corinthians 15:54-57; "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory." [54] "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" [55] "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." [56] "But thanks be to God, Which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." [57]

The writer of this great promise is Paul, the one that we read earlier as having the free will to kill Christians. Now he is telling us here that we have victory in Christ. Paul was reminding them of the victory we have is in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This victory came by Christ death on the cross, the sacrifice for one and all times; and this is what Jesus is telling his disciples in verse nineteen. Jesus is telling them that we are going to Jerusalem to fulfill the end of His mission, and it is time to get mentally prepared for what is going to happen.

Notice how Jesus is going to warn them every step of the way, what the next step will be, and what their mind set must be. This is exactly as He has done for His elect that are coming into this final generation, and we had better pay attention, and focus on the events of the time, and be in the mindset to understand and apply those events to the prophecy that God has given us in His Word. There are a chain of events that lead to the coming of the Antichrist, and there are instruction in His Word as to what we are to do when we see them come to pass. The elect of God, and the Chosen of God have a duty to that Word, and that is not to run away and hide.

It is important that as they come to pass that we should be watching for them, and not be afraid of them, for the events mark out the plan of God, to keep His elect for being confused, and allowing themselves to be deceived by the Antichrist at his coming. Many that call themselves of the elect, and not. Many follow after religious fairy tales, such as the rapture doctrine, that will lead them right into Satan's household. They will become Satan's bride, and all the time in ignorance they will think they are the bride of the true Christ.

It doesn't matter what time you come into God's vineyard, or how long you have worked there, the pay is the same. God has given each of us gifts, and he expects us to use those gifts where we are. Our rewards are given on the willingness and faithfulness we are to the task we have. Some it is prayer, some ministry, some talking to other, and some just acts of kindness in the name of the Lord. We must never forget to repent daily for our sins, and to tell God that we love him. That is what we were created for; to please the Father.

Matthew 20:20 "Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him."

The woman's sons are James and John, Jesus' disciples, and as she came she paid respect to Jesus for she knew that He was the Son of God. This "certain thing" that she is going to ask of Jesus is out of the scope of our petitions to Him. For that request is only given by the Father. Mrs. Zebedee just did not know what she was asking for. When we make our request of the Father, in Jesus name it must be in accordance with the plan of God, and the will of God. God will respect our prayers when it is dealing with the tools of the promotion of the gospel, and the needs to sustain ourselves.

People get confused with blessings and promises, for they are rewards for the work done. The promises of God is the assurance that when you start something for God, if it is done within His plan and will, He will not let your down. God knows what your needs are. When a ministry is a begging ministry, and year after year it just can't get enough money, it is an indication that God is not blessing the work. Get about your Heavenly Fathers business, and things will be provided for. You will always get in trouble when your prayers consist of me, me, me. We should be asking for wisdom, and the tools to get the ministry work done.

Matthew 20:21 "And He said unto her, "What wilt thou?" She saith unto Him, "Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy kingdom."

In the kingdom of God, "Where does Christ sit?" Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God. If Christ sits at the right hand of God, then who sits at Christ's left. That position is not a place for a man. The choice of where God's elect will be was sealed in the world age that was, before the Garden of Eden, it is not a decision to be made in this earth age. There is nothing that you can do about it, you either are or are not sealed. This is one of those things that was sealed in the world that was.

Matthew 20:22 "But Jesus answered and said, "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They say unto Him, "We are able."

Jesus had already told James and John of the crucifixion and the resurrection, and they responded that they were able to do the same. However, Jesus pointed out that these two brothers had no idea of what they were even asking of Jesus.

Matthew 20:23 "And He saith unto them "Ye shall drink indeed of My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father."

Jesus pointed out to them that they indeed shall drink of Christ's cup, and that cup is death in the name of Christ, and be baptized with the Holy Spirit of God, for this would come at Pentecost day, as recorded in Acts 2:4; "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Jesus is telling the disciples that the positions of where the souls will be is already fixed, it is already established in that first earth age, and it is the Father that has declared it. This is why you must understand that some people do have a destiny before they were even born, and this goes against the teaching that most pastors are giving. Most Christians today are illiterate in God's Word.

Matthew 20:24 "And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren."

There is a little jealousy going on here, for when the other ten disciples heard what was being asked of Jesus by James and John, they were moved with indignation. The other ten were just as wrong in their actions and attitudes as James and John. They were approaching the time of Christ's crucifixion, and we can see in them the normal problems of men, such as jealousy and pride which were entering in. This is a problem that many teachers have when they take the time to explain every detail. Then see that your words and instructions were just not understood as to what you had said.

Matthew 20:25 "But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them."

Jesus saw that He needed to give them a little more instruction, and so He tells them all to listen to Him. Jesus tells them, you know the chain of authority that the Gentiles use over their people. You know how that those in authority like to lord their authority or power over the rest of the people. Jesus is telling them, that is where your mind is right now. You are thinking of worldly kingdoms, and not the kingdom of heaven. The two are not the same. Many men will do evil things to gain authority, just to show how important they are. They let their vanity show, at the cost to others.

Matthew 20:26 "But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;"

Jesus is letting His disciples that that is not the way thing are in His kingdom. There will be none of this lording over the other brethren, and "holier than thou" stuff. Those that lead are the servants, or ministers. The leader must spent much of his time digging out the truths, and serving the brethren the true world of God. The servants, or ministers are bound to be of service mentally, physically and spiritually of all the people. However He is also the one to issue the discipline when it becomes necessary.

Matthew 20:27 "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:"

What this is saying is that if anyone wants to be your chief, let him be your slave. This doesn't look like the form that exists today, in fact it is just the opposite. The point that Christ is trying to bring out to His disciples is that the greater you are in this flesh age, the lower you will be in His kingdom. You become great by the service and humility that is give to your brethren.

Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Even as Christ Himself did not come to this world to be waited on, but he came to serve, and give His live for all those that repent and accept Him. How many people can you ask to die for you? When the time came, I'm sure you would be disappointed to see those friends heading down the road, if that time ever came. Only Christ can do what He did, because of His perfect life. He became the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of all those that call upon His name.

Matthew 20:29 "And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him."

They are all leaving now for Jerusalem on their final journey.

Matthew 20:30 "And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou Son of David."

Matthew 20:31 "And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou Son of David."

Let's take a look at what happened in Jericho. Upon entering Jericho, Christ healed one blind man. On leaving Jericho He healed another blind man, and that is the second. Then after Christ healed the second man, here comes these two, and that will make it four blind men healed. This is all part of the riddle, or teaching that Christ is trying to teach. That there were indeed four blind that were healed.

Matthew 20:32 "And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, "What will ye that I shall do unto you?"

Jesus heard these two blind men call out, and tuned to them. Notice they did not ask for the healing, and Jesus did not just heal them, but He asked what they wanted. This is the same way that is is with anointing, it is no good, unless it is asked for. The minister knows that the anointing of a person is only good when that person asks for anointing for himself, when it comes to healing.

Matthew 20:33 "They say unto Him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened."

Now take this request by the four blind men to have their eyes opened to a deeper level, in the spiritual sense. What is it when ones eyes are opened spiritually? The spiritual need is to have your eyes open to the overall plan of God, to be useful to Him in His service. That it would not be the "blind leading the blind into the pit", but that our eyes would be open to the service that God intends for each of us to do for Him.

Matthew 20:34 "So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him."

These men asked for their sight, and Jesus gave it to them immediately. When they received their physical sight, they follow Christ. Now why "four" in this lesson? Because "four in Biblical numerics is man", "flesh man". All men on this earth are spiritually blind, unless he or she has his eyes opened by the Holy Spirit of God. There is absolutely no other way for their eyes to be opened spiritually unless the comforter opens them, and that only comes after the request of the blind. Their plea is to "open my eyes that I may see."

What is it that we want to see? To see the truths of the Word of God, the plan of the Word, and get an overall view of ages, so when we know and see and understand the Scriptures of God, we can teach and tell others, that their eyes may also be open.

When your eyes are spiritually opened, you can see what He would have you do, and when you fall short, and sin, your eyes are open to your short fall, and you repent immediately, and stay right on the path. The important thing is to have and understand the truth of God's Word.

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