“And, behold,one came and said unto him, Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.
He (the young man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,
HONOUR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER: and, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF.
The young man saith unto him, ALL these things I have kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly (it is hard for a”rich” person to) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to enter to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Then said Jesus to the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who can be saved?
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto the, With men this IS impossible; but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore (what do we get?)
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And EVERY ONE that hath forsaken houses, or brethren (family),or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (fields) for MY NAME’S SAKE, shall receive an hundredfold, AND shall have everlasting life.
But they that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19: 16-30
Hi! I hope that you and your families are well today and to my Brothers and Sisters the world over that are being troubled for the faith, God Bless you and know that you are never forgotten in prayers and that those rewards that the Lord had spoken of will be heaped in unimaginable treasures at your feet when the kingdom comes and never forget your promise that is given in Revelation 3:9, when the Lord says of your enemies,…behold, I WILL make them to come worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” And I just felt impressed to let you know that today before going on with the thought and teaching of this particular post.
As we read our passages for today, I wanted to stop just a tad shy of where I am ultimately headed with it so that we could “talk” a bit about what all is going on here and more importantly why.
The young man in this story is such a mirror to many of us, he knows that there is “something else” that is needed in his relationship with God, he had to know, to feel that something was still “missing” as he wanted to ask Jesus, himself, what was missing, and as you notice, he was quick to confirm that he had keep all these commands since his childhood, he assured the Lord (who already knew) that he hadn’t violated any of those teachings but yet thought he may be missing some good deed, or some act of service that would ensure his entrance into that coming Kingdom.
Jesus knew what the issue was, it wasn’t what he was missing, it was what he could not give up and in my personal belief on this, I don’t think it had anything to do with the wealth, God wants to bless us, but it was that the wealth actually stood between him and God in the fact that he could not “give up” what he saw as a necessity, and “riches” can be many things and we can be “rich” in an area, such as friends, professions, we can be rich in an area that turning to Christ could actually cause a loss in that area, and often that is what we don’t want to give up.
And often we hear people give that, especially in the area of money, people who know that changes are needed to serve God in Spirit and Truth and yet, the will settle for what they see in the present rather than believe Jesus for some much more, if they will only surrender whatever it is that stands in the way of the relationship that he wants to have with them.
And why would he bless that? Why would he approve of anything that keeps us away from him?
And if you notice in this story, the young man took it upon himself, to “go away, sorrowfully”, filled with sadness and grief because he himself was unwilling to follow Jesus with all he had, and this was not about money it was about faith, Jesus wanted him to trust in him, not in what he could see. And if you notice at no point did Jesus send him away, he sent himself away.
It is hard for our flesh to give up anything that we hold onto as security, never realizing that nothing, nothing is ever one hundred percent and the only, only thing in this universe that we can be completely secure in, the one thing that will never change is that security that Jesus was offering that young man and the security he offers us an dall we have to do is accept it as the completely free gift that it is and then give our life, one day at a time, to him, learning to trust in him each and every day.
This is why it is so impossible for man but so possible with God, it doesn’t matter about the “needle” or the camel, we can see what a great comparison that is, but God who is supernatural and works in the supernatural can bless us so that the scattered pieces of the puzzle that is our life without Jesus, pieces that should never logically fit together, will come together and create the most amazing beautiful picture that we have ever seen.
As we go on in our story we notice that Peter, after hearing that the young man being promised that all that money and wealth he was to give away to those who have nothing would then be transferred to store as riches waiting for him in the kingdom of heaven, wants to be assured that those who had already up those things would also be rewarded, and as Jesus answered him, notice some of the things, and people, and even “places” in life, represented as those lands, those “fields”that would need to be surrendered in order to allow room in our hearts and lives for such greater blessings.
But it has to be one hundred percent surrender to God, turning away from anything the separates us from him. Now to get on with our point I have again, as in post pasts dealt a little with this before but I really, really want to drive this home. For this we’ll hop back to our passage and pick up on why Jesus was saying that the first would be last and last first.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder (landowner) which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went about the THIRD hour, and saw other standing idle in the marketplace.
And said unto them, GO ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the SIXTH hour and the NINTH hour, and did likewise.
And about the ELEVENTH hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, Why stand ye here all the idle (not doing anything)?
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.
So when even (evening) was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward. Call the labourers, and give them their hire (wages), beginning with the last unto the first.
And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny (denarius), But when the first was came, they supposed that they should have received more; and the likewise received every man a penny.
And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house (grumbled against the landowner), Saying, These that have wrought (worked) but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and the heat of the day.
But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a penny?
Take that that is thine (take what is yours) and go thy way; I WILL GIVE UNTO THIS LAST, EVEN AS UNTO THEE. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good (are you mad because I am good to all)?
SO THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST, AND THE FIRST LAST; FOR MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN.” Matthew 20:1-16
I want to elaborate on this last statement a little bit first, just as it was elaborated on to me once upon a time, by my late first Pastor, this does not mean that those who are called are not saved, they are,many are saved, it means that there are also those that are specifically chosen vessels for the purposes of the Lord.
And as I feel God has impressed me to understand and I feel impressed that he wants you to understand that just as the landowner went out and internationally found these chosen workers, and right about there you should be getting a reminder of the parable of Jesus as the Good Shepherd that He is, going out to find that ninety-ninth lamb.
If you will notice, it was very specific times the landowner went out to find those workers that were chosen at that particular hour and now, at this moment, we are in the eleventh hour, probably pushing closer to just before midnight, and there is still much work to be done and in fact, the closer we get to Midnight the more strenuous and taxing that work will become because for one it is so dark, dark like never before in the field of this world and that enemy, the same who planted all those tares with the wheat has used every device available to him to booby trap the field and set in place his own workers to try to prevent that work from being done, but it will be done.
God is looking for those eleventh hour workers, he is intentionally seeking you out and whether or not you choose to stand idle in the marketplace or choose to do as he has commanded and go into that vineyard, and don’t be as the young man who couldn’t quite wrap his head around a life different than what he has been accustomed to decided that it would be better to just stay with what he knew and the “security” he had in those things.
But heed that voice because we need the workers, we need them and we need them NOW, not next month, next year, whatever date you re waiting for, we have no promises of another day, but we have the promise of a “payday” and you can decide that yourself, do you want to barely make it in through the gate of heaven or do you want to make a DIFFERENCE on this earth and even if you do one thing that the Lord has put in your heart to do, and if it is only one task he has chosen you for in these last days, you will receive the same “reward” that is given to a person that may have dedicated their entire life to that same task. It is all about the obedience and answering the call, while he is calling, the landowner did NOT stay in that marketplace all day choosing people, they had to go while he offered the job.
I want to leave you with one last verse, it is the cross reference for these words, …”For many are called, but few are chosen.”
“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord WORKING with them, and CONFIRMING the word with signs following. A-men”
The work will be done, make no mistake of that but lose out on your all into the vineyard of God, don’t lose out on the opportunity to take your predestined place as an eleventh hour worker, called into the field for the greatest time in human history, the opportunity to minister in whatever it is He has for you to do in his vineyard, some of the job are to preach His Word, lay hands on the sick (yes, I realize Covid still exists), flow in the gifts of miracles and healings, through the gift of faith pray down strongholds by intercession to God on behalf of those who can’t just yet, feed those who are hungry, clothe those who go bare, love those who cry, comfort those who grieve, so many jobs, so little time.
He has something, something unique for everyone one of us.
So I urge you today, don’t let either of these calls go unanswered, listen to that still small voice and confirm what that voice is saying through His Word and you will one day, maybe not here, but when “payday” comes, you will be so glad you did and you may not ever know what difference your obedience has made on this earth, but one day, that same “payday” you will and you will be so rich, so rick in joy, and peace that will be eternal, NEVER to be taken away from you, how could you possibly say no to that?
Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina BrownJohnson