The first will be last?

Thread starter #1
Matthew 19:30
But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matthew 20:16
"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Just looking for thoughts on this.
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I think of it like the guest at the table... The master might say to person at the end to come sit next to him causing that one next to him to move to the further seat?
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I think it has to do with humbleness. One might not feel worthy to sit next to him, yet the one next to him thinks he deserves that spot..... A student is not above his teacher
 
Thread starter #6
I think it has to do with humbleness. One might not feel worthy to sit next to him, yet the one next to him thinks he deserves that spot..... A student is not above his teacher
I can see the vineyard workers parable teaching this. Imagine if you spent your whole life for God and received the same reward the man on the cross received?
You might be saying to God, why should he receive the same payment as me? I've been with you my whole life. He shows up at near death.

So it shows God as being good for even accepting this man who was last.

If that's it though, why make the first last? Why does the last get to be first? I'm still missing something.
 
Thread starter #7
Maybe it's a lesson on how different Heavens ranking system is compared to the earth. The young ruler, the politician we all love, the television preacher, the entrepreneur, the prostitute, the prisoner, the illegal alien, the tax collector, the Pharisee.
 
Thread starter #8
Payment? Paying alms? Works? Something about what man can do to earn his way? If the young rich man can't buy his way in?
What can we do ask Peter? We have nothing.

What can I do? What can a prisoner do? What can a homeless person do?

Then compare that to what the great and rich people have done. Built big Churches. Sent people on overseas voyages, prayed to you among the masses, made sure everyone knew we were Christians.
We've did great things for you Jesus, can't you see this?
 

Israel

Senior Member
I can see the vineyard workers parable teaching this. Imagine if you spent your whole life for God and received the same reward the man on the cross received?
You might be saying to God, why should he receive the same payment as me? I've been with you my whole life. He shows up at near death.

So it shows God as being good for even accepting this man who was last.

If that's it though, why make the first last? Why does the last get to be first? I'm still missing something.
Because it is not a lesson for then, it is a lesson for now.
Paul was embarrassed to mention the things he had "been through" in service.
He knew in doing so he was, in a very real sense, not leaving them where they are already seen and known and rightly appreciated. What is "done unto the Lord" must become enough for the disciple.

There is no "trading upon them" for if they are to the Lord, then they are the Lord's alone for judgment.
It is not unlike a wife boasting to her coffee klatch how much she does for her husband to show she is a "good wife", never realizing her husband has come home and stands at the door of the parlor. All he may have once been told has been in service of her love for him now becomes nothing more than her service to an idol of being a "good wife". To be displayed, by herself, to others.

And we of all must know we speak and act always in the presence of the ever present One.

Don't be amazed that the Lord may have one appear more wretched in one's own sight than one could have ever imagined possible a disciple might appear. He tests the reins. That we might know what directs us.

There is nothing hidden, except to be revealed.

And so disciples, when meeting one another discern what is forged of truth in the crucible of Christ. Peter was quick to mention what they had left for Jesus...for there are few things of which a man knows greater than "what he has done" for something.

But then there is seeing Jesus...and what He has done "for something"...and rightly then, silence. Till he is prepared to speak of this, that Jesus has done.

And what Jesus is doing.

Seeing and hearing the Lord is now the disciple's birth right.

If that is not enough, nothing ever could be made to be so.

There is no other stream.
 
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Thread starter #10
Was reading this;
"We should avoid assigning a specific meaning to every element of a parable."

Maybe they are like art work. We each receive a different meaning from God as to what they mean.
Maybe they all have various meanings and we choose the meaning that helps us the most.

If one looks at the way Jesus talked. It's sometimes like a code. Like he didn't want everyone to understand.
Maybe the audience at that time did understand but we don't.
 
Thread starter #11
Noticed some people are putting the Jewish/Gentile spin on it.

Those that came first (Jews) will be last. Those that came last (Gentiles) will be first.

Then some put the opposite take on that.

Paul revealed the gospel first among the Gentiles, and it will eventually go to the Jews.

Could the vineyard be Israel? Does that follow the context of the vineyard parable?
The vineyard parable maybe but the one before it about the rich man, I can't see it.

The last verse of the young rich man parable;

Matthew 19:30
But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

This before the vineyard workers parable. I guess one must put the two parables together to understand the meaning better.

After the vineyard workers parable, Jesus tells the disciples that he will be leaving through death. Maybe part of it is him leaving and coming again in the future.
When Jesus returns, who will be resurrected first?
 
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gordon 2

Senior Member
To me first last, last first speaks to being a servant despite wanting to rid the world from our lives.. It is ok to leave the strings of the world behind to be more perfect, but our perfection is more in keeping with the ties of being a servant and ministering to the very world we would by some false instinct think of leaving... to be more pleasing to our friend Jesus.

So the first to leave mothers and fathers for Christ, might be the last in reward compared to the son or daughters that honors parent by minding for them in the parents times of need. etc... motivated by the love of God solely.

One of Jesus' last pointers to one of his apostles tasked with the heavenly and heady tasks of being an apostle was " Hey, mind to my mom's needs...?"
 
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Thread starter #13
Maybe the ones on earth with wealth and social status are first here now. The prisoners, poor, prostitutes, and homeless are last on the earth. The sick, the lame, the retarded, the blind, etc.

The Pharisees, the tax collectors, the rich, the socialites are first on the earth but not in the Kingdom.
 

Israel

Senior Member
Maybe the ones on earth with wealth and social status are first here now. The prisoners, poor, prostitutes, and homeless are last on the earth. The sick, the lame, the retarded, the blind, etc.

The Pharisees, the tax collectors, the rich, the socialites are first on the earth but not in the Kingdom.
But ain't that great!

The last/first, least/greatest...the "scarcely saved"...those saved as though by fire...those found blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who, being plucked from a fire, and seated safely now with a blanket around them and a cup of coffee, cares much whether they were first, middle...last?

O! The mercy of God!


Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

"that they may learn not to blaspheme".

Of all the things it is not matters not one whit in the light of what it is..."that they may learn"...

Behold then the kindness and severity of God!
 
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"But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant."

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
 
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
 

hobbs27

Senior Member
The Kingdom was at hand. The 12 were going to receive the same payment ( inheritance), as those that came into Christianity at the last moment just before it came in all its glory. They weren't to expect more, just because they were the first
 

Israel

Senior Member
The Kingdom was at hand. The 12 were going to receive the same payment ( inheritance), as those that came into Christianity at the last moment just before it came in all its glory. They weren't to expect more, just because they were the first
I sincerely ask...what glory has christianity?

I have no apprehension of what that could possibly mean.
 
Thread starter #19
The Kingdom was at hand. The 12 were going to receive the same payment ( inheritance), as those that came into Christianity at the last moment just before it came in all its glory. They weren't to expect more, just because they were the first
Why did the 12 have to wait and go last? I understand everyone receiving the same payment but why didn't they all go together at the same time?
 
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