October 14, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Tuesday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity

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) Him.

In this parable the Householder is God.  The vineyard is the Kingdom of God, 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 Heaven.  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. 

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).

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