Matthew 20 – 21

Matthew 20

Matthew 20:1 For the [the King of kings] 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. 20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

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

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

20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 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.

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

20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

The message of the parable is that God is in control and will decide the rewards of his called out and any offices and responsibilities in his kingdom. 

The point of this parable is that God does the rewarding; doing what he wants with his own possessions, according to HIS judgment; and not according to what we think we deserve. In HIS wisdom he rewards as he decides; and he may give greater or lesser rewards according to his own pleasure and judgment; and he will choose some and reject others for his own reasons. 

We are to diligently and passionately live by every Word of God, but that is only the minimum required. We are to go beyond that, seeking to please God at all times; and to love and put God first in all things at all times. We are to meditate on God’s Word, laws and ways, day and night and work hard to internalize God within us to the point that we become like him in our very natures. 

Our focus is to be on the work of internalizing the nature of God, and not on any reward we might imagine as our supposed right.   

Many there are who are “doing a great work” of their own devising; and not doing what God the Father and Jesus Christ have commanded, and even living in sin; compromising with God’s Word and tolerating sin without rebuking it.

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The time was now coming for our Lord to be sacrificed and he began to teach his disciple what must soon come to pass.

Matthew 20:17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 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 they shall condemn him to death, 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.

Then the issue of who will be greatest arises.

20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 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.

Once again politics and who will be the greatest enters the picture: This seems to be a continual issue within the Ekklesia to this very day. This issue reveals the self- seeking, from those who are seeking God’s ways.

Remember that these men are still very carnal, not having God’s Spirit given to them until after Christ returns from God the Father after ascending into heaven. Therefore while Christ taught them much, they could understand only in a limited manner.

When the Spirit is given, then it calls to remembrance the teachings, and gives them the understanding; IF they are willing to follow.

The self-seeking folks in the corporate church groups today, have either never been converted, or have quenched God’s Spirit through their pursuit of personal advantage, and not focusing on the things and ways of God.

The godly person will serve God and the flock diligently; rebuking sin and teaching repentance and the way into the Kingdom of God; he will not exalt himself and he will trust in God the Father and Jesus Christ to take care of all his needs.

As Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24, and later Jude, and also Peter and Paul prophesied; very many of today’s elders and brethren have fallen away from any zeal to live by the true Word of God and sound doctrine.

It has come to pass in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia that we will not tolerate the sound doctrine of the scriptures.

2 Timothy 4:1   I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Here Paul accurately describes the state of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.

4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

John 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jesus replies that who will be given such an high office is to be decided by God the Father only!  For those with eyes to see; It is the original Moses and Elijah who appeared beside Jesus at the transfiguration vision (Mat 17); they are the ones who will be on the right and left hand of Messiah in the kingdom.

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. 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.

The response to the men’s mother is that her two sons will be martyred and who sits on the right and left of Christ is in God the Father’s hands. We know already that these men will each rule one of the tribes of Israel; and it is apparent from the vision on the mount, that Moses and Elijah will be at the right and left hand of Christ the King of all kings on the earth.

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

This is Christ’s instructions for God’s elders including the leaders and elders of today:  Hear ye Him.

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 [the Primacy of Peter type of dominance] upon them.

20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [servant]; 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 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.

Yet again, it is explained to these men that the greatest is he who is the greatest servant of God, and gives himself fully to God to serve God.

Elders and leaders are FORBIDDEN to rule with rigor like Pharaoh and the rulers of this world. See how this issue continued throughout the ministry of Christ since the first calling of the disciples:  And it continued right through the last Passover; only being resolved among these men when they received God’s Spirit and finally understood what was required of them. 

That these same desires for the chief seats and to dominate the brethren through the primacy of Peter Nicolaitane abomination are running rampant in the Ekklesia today; testifies to an extensive LACK of the Holy Spirit. 

If we sincerely repent and call on the LORD, God will open our eyes to His will and Word even at this late date. 

Then Jesus opened the eyes of two men by the road to Jericho.  Just as he healed physical blindness, Jesus will also heal the spiritual blindness that covers this world with darkness when he comes.  May that day come quickly! 

Joel 2:32   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.

Matthew 20:29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 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. 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. 20:32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 20:33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Matthew 21

Jesus and the disciples entered Jerusalem on Friday six days before Passover.  The idea of a Sunday entry into the city is based on the Catholic idea of a Friday Passover by wrongly dating the crucifixion in 33 A.D.  Jesus said that he would be three days and three nights in the grave.  Jesus was placed in the grave late on Wednesday Passover 31 A.D. and was resurrected as the sun set ending the Sabbath [Saturday] and began Sunday. 

By the modern midnight to midnight calendar Jesus was resurrected on Saturday; however by the Biblical calendar he was resurrected just as the sun set ending Saturday and beginning Sunday.

Matthew 21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 21:2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 21:3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

This entry into Jerusalem on that Friday was a type of the entry into the city of Messiah with his chosen after he comes to the Mount of Olives and destroys all remaining resistance.  Then the people will have been humbled and will cry out to him “Save us, Save us!” and will accept him as their King of kings.

A substantial part of the work of God’s two [after they have taken the faithful to God’s refuge] prophets will be to preach the gospel of salvation and sincere repentance; teaching the whole Word of God and preparing the nations to turn to a zeal to live by every Word of God.

Matthew 21:6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 21:7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed  is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna [Salvation] in the highest.

Christ is makes it obvious  to the spiritually minded by these actions that he is Messiah; and the people thought that the Kingdom was to be set up immediately. The city was then all in a stir about what was happening, setting the stage for Christ’s entry into the Temple and casting out the evil doers.

Because of the multitudes of the people calling for his coronation, none dared to oppose him openly. Yet they plotted secretly lest the privileged position of the Scribes, Sadducee’s and Pharisees under the Romans should be upset.

Notice the politics here. They had disagreed and sought to resist Christ all along and now they faced him becoming their King. They felt compelled to act against him to save their own positions. Rather than repent, they defended their positions and went on the attack. 

Rather reminds us of today’s Pharisaic leaders of the Ekklesia who resist the scriptures, and while using the name of Christ lead the brethren in rebellion against Christ and God the Father.

21:10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 21:11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Then Jesus cast out all of the unrighteous; just as he will reject the unrepentant from among his spiritually called out when he comes again!

21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Then Christ opened the eyes of the blind and healed the physically sick.  When he comes he will open all eyes to understand the whole Word of God and will heal the spiritual sickness of humanity.

21:14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna [Salvation] to the son of David [saying “son of David” amounted to acknowledging him as their rightful King]; they were sore displeased,

The leaders asked Christ about what the people were declaring and Jesus replied in a manner that accepted the people’s praise and call to be their King; but his King-ship would have to wait until all things are fulfilled, and he will came back to receive that Kingdom at the appointed time.

21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? 21:17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Friday night he stayed in Bethany, and on that Sabbath morning he cursed the fig tree which had no fruit.  Many would wonder at this act for generations:  Why was he so angered at a tree that did not have any fruit for him to eat; why not just go to the next tree?

Here is the answer:  The fig tree was a type of the called out, who respond and commit themselves; and then sit back to follow idols of men and not be zealous to live by every Word of God.  The fig tree has leaves which make it look good from a distance, but on inspection it has produced NO FRUIT!  Just like the man who buried his talent for fear. 

The fruitless fig tree is like today’s called out who are afraid to be zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word of God, and think all they have to do is to follow some man:  Which is Idolatry and spiritual adultery! 

The fruitless fig tree is analogous to the called out person who produces no spiritual fruit in their life! 

Like that fruit tree which had no fruit; those called out who produce no spiritual fruit will be cursed by being rejected from being a part of the collective bride at the first main resurrection to spirit.

21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

This was not done out of an unwarranted anger against a mere tree. This was done as an object lesson that the tree [person] who does not bear fruit will not enter the kingdom in the resurrection to spirit (John 15); and is a lesson in the power of faith as well.

21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

We must believe, and we can believe and KNOW that our prayer is heard; IF we live by every Word of God and do what is pleasing in God’s sight.

If we tolerate sin or compromise with God’s Word, or if we are just lukewarm; our prayers WILL NOT be heard.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

This day being the Sabbath, Jesus went to the Temple to teach the people; and the priests demanded that he provide them with his credentials of authority. 

Jesus fended them off with a question, which angered them the more.

Matthew 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 21:24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 21:26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 21:27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Jesus then instructs them with a parable 

21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

Speaking to the Chief Priests of the Ekklesia of God of that day; Christ challenges them, and then declares that repentant sinners will receive eternal life  before those who do their own thing in the name of God, thinking of themselves as godly.

Why? Because they have sincerely repented and turned to the Eternal with all their hearts; knowing their guilt and shame and understanding how much they have been forgiven.

21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

The Chief Priests; which were a type of the leaders of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia; could NOT enter God’s kingdom because they were already righteous in their own eyes, and therefore they reject knowledge thinking they know it all and have need of nothing (Rev 3).

21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

They did not repent at the warnings of John Baptist [Elijah] and they did not repent when the warnings came to pass; and Jerusalem was destroyed almost 40 years later.

Today it is the lowly in the faith who are turning back to godly zeal; while the great in their own eyes, refuse to repent.

I hope and pray with ALL my heart; and I am fully persuaded that many of today’s leaders and elders WILL repent when the warnings are fulfilled and the tribulation comes upon them.

21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 21:38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 21:39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 21:41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

You leaders and elders and brethren who condemn those seeking God with all their hearts and mock their zeal for God and his Word: What will God do with you, when he rises up in his majestic power to deliver his little children of light out of your hands?

He will give the Kingdom to THEM, and you will not be among the chosen; unless you repent quickly.

21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

The leadership and elderships will be taken away from those false shepherds who lead the flock to follow themselves as if they were God; who exalt themselves and not the whole Word of God and USE God to exalt themselves by saying that Jesus is Christ the Son of God, while leading the brethren to follow themselves away from any zeal to live by every Word of God. 

The unrepentant among today’s church leaders and elders will be rejected by Christ in that day; and will be replaced by the zealous whom they despise, who have the fruits of zeal for God and God’s Word.

21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you [the unrepentant], and given to a nation [a new, repentant and dedicated Spiritual Israel] bringing forth the fruits thereof. 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone [of Christ and Christ-like zeal for the Word of God]  shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

You, who are confident that you have accepted that Stone; who pay lip-service to that Rock, while making the Word of God of no effect by your false traditions: You are deceiving yourselves; for it is the DOER of the Word that shall have Christ’s sacrifice applied to himself; NOT just the hearer and those who say “yes, Father” and then do not obey that Word!

21:45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 21:46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

The Pharisee’s fear of the people caused them to plot in secret to turn the people against Jesus. It is  the same today!

Fear of this world, instead of a real and genuine respect and fear of God and a lust for mammon, has led to much politicking as many leaders work to be the “nice guy” to the brethren and this world, by NOT condemning and rebuking sin!

That has led to our lack of zeal to live by every Word of God, turning us into a lukewarm people who compromise with God and his Word, following idols of men and their false traditions. 

Will we sincerely repent and turn to a passionate zeal for God and the scriptures; or will we be rejected by our LORD for our lack of any spiritual fruit [like the fig tree lacked physical fruit] and be turned away in shame and disgrace on that day? 

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