October 14, 2013
Morning – Psalm 125, 126, 2 Kings 4:18-25, 1 Tim. 4:6
Evening – Psalm 132, Ecc. 2:1-17, Mt. 20:1-16
Commentary, Matthew 20:1-16
This passage continues the discourse begun with the rich young ruler in 19:16. Our Lord is still on the east side of the
Jordan, but close enough to Judea
to make excursions into it, and for the Judean people to come to Him. And they do come to Him. 19:2 tells us great multitudes followed Him,
and 19:3 says Pharisees also came attempting to trick and discredit (tempting)
In this parable the Householder is God. The vineyard is the
, which on earth is the Church. The call to work in the vineyard is the Gospel
calling people to believe in Christ. The
pay is Heaven and all the grace of God.
The parable has two primary meanings. First, most of the Pharisees and
Jewish religious leaders will not enter the Kingdom of God . Though they are first in religion they are
last in faith (see 20:16). Trusting
their religiousness, rather than the atoning sacrifice of Christ, they will be
found missing the mark on Judgment Day.
In other words, they will not measure up to God’s standard of perfect
holiness, therefore they will have no place in Heaven. Kingdom of Heaven
Second, all is forgiven to all who trust in Christ. You do not have to be first in the vineyard, as the Pharisees considered themselves to be. Even the last one to come to the vineyard will receive the full grace and pardon of Christ. Even the last to come to Christ will receive the Spirit, the Church, the means of grace, the Bible, and Heaven at last.
Some one you know may be late in life, and still not in the vineyard. Continue to pray for him, there is yet hope. You may be late in life yet not in the vineyard You wonder if God will accept you after your decades of living like a Pharisee, or even like a pagan. The answer is, yes. “Come unto me” Jesus says in Matthew 11:28. “[H]im that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” He says in John 6:37. “[W]hosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16).
This is not an excuse to put off God. You may not live to see tomorrow on this earth. You may be called before the throne of God this very moment. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not you hearts” (Heb. 3:15). Be ready, for Jesus may come for you “at an hour when ye think not” (Lk. 11:40).