Matthew 20: Yeshua was just telling the disciples that it is almost impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom (Matt. 19:16-24). This disturbed the disciples to the point that they questioned if they would be rewarded for their obedience and sacrifice (Matt. 19:25-27). He then told His disciples that those who have left houses or property or relatives for His sake shall receive many times as much (Matt. 19:28-29). Then He said, many who are first will be last and the last, first (Matt. 19:30).
(Mat 20:1 NASB) “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
(Mat 20:2 NASB) “And when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.
Mat 20:2: Yeshua uses a parable to illustrate this Truth. In the parable, the landowner is Yeshua, or the Father. This is consistent with the parables told in chapter 13. The vineyard is Israel (Isaiah 5:1-6). The workers in the vineyard are those who sacrificed themselves to be followers of Messiah obedient to His Father’s Word.
Those in Israel agreed to follow Him and they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven after the regeneration. This agreement they made is the Covenant they have with the Father (Exodus 19:5-8). The payment they agreed to receive is their apportionment in the land. Each man is to get an equal portion of the Land (Ezek. 47:13-14).
(Mat 20:3 NASB) “And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place;
(Mat 20:4 NASB) and to those he said, ‘You too go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went.
(Mat 20:5 NASB) “Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing.
Mat20:5: The first laborers started work at 6 AM. The landowner then hired men at 9 AM, as well as at noon, and at 3 PM.
(Mat 20:6 NASB) “And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’
(Mat 20:7 NASB) “They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into the vineyard.’
Mat 20:7: The owner of the vineyard hired men at 5 PM. Quitting time is at 6 PM.
(Mat 20:8 NASB) “And when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’
(Mat 20:9 NASB) “And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.
(Mat 20:10 NASB) “And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius.
Mat 20:10: The last group received their wages first. But they received an equal amount as was promised those who had worked much earlier.
This is appropriate because we are told in the Tanakh that the aliens among Israel will receive an equal share of the kingdom as if they were also blood sons of Israel (Ezekiel 47:21-23).
(Mat 20:11 NASB) “And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,
(Mat 20:12 NASB) saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’
(Mat 20:13 NASB) “But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?
Mat 20:13: The apportionment for the blood brother of Israel will be no different than that of those who were grafted in at a later time. Yeshua was fulfilling His promise to the original workers. Nothing can be held against Him for His generosity to others.
(Mat 20:14 NASB) ‘Take what is yours and go your way, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.
(Mat 20:15 NASB) ‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’
(Mat 20:16 NASB) “Thus the last shall be first, and the first last.”
Mat 20:16: It is certainly lawful for Yeshua to be gracious to whom He will be gracious (Exod. 33:19, Deut. 7:6-12).
(Mat 20:17 NASB) And as Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them,
(Mat 20:18 NASB) “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,
(Mat 20:19 NASB) and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
Mat 20:19: Yeshua told His disciples on a number of occasions precisely what would soon happen to Him.
(Mat 20:20 NASB) Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, bowing down, and making a request of Him.
(Mat 20:21 NASB) And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left.”
(Mat 20:22 NASB) But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.”
Mat 20:22: This request follows the parable of the vineyard which spoke of the apportionment of the Kingdom being equal to all who enter. The mother of James and John asked Yeshua if they could be at the right hand and left hand of Yeshua at the Kingdom.
Yeshua asked if they are able to suffer and die in the same way He is going to suffer and die. Surprisingly, they say they are able.
(Mat 20:23 NASB) He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
Mat 20:23: Yeshua tells them that they too will suffer and die. But, the places to the right and left of Him have already been prepared by the Father.
(Mat 20:24 NASB) And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers.
(Mat 20:25 NASB) But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
(Mat 20:26 NASB) “It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
Mat 20:26: The ruler ship of this world exercises authority over men. When the Kingdom of Heaven arrives, things will be different. The ruler ship will consist of those who have served others instead of exercising authority over them. The rule of “love thy neighbor” must REALLY be the order of the day. Those who are the greatest in the Kingdom will be those who serve others the most.
(Mat 20:27 NASB) and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;
(Mat 20:28 NASB) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mat 20:28: Those who wish to reign over others will be last. It is those who wish to serve others who will be first. The Son of Man came to serve others, not to serve. That is what He calls out for us also (John 13:34-35). Paul tells us that loving our neighbor fulfills (makes full) Torah (Gal. 5:14).
If we put ourselves last when it comes to serving others, we will be first in the Kingdom when it comes. If we put ourselves first, we will be last.
(Mat 20:29 NASB) And as they were going out from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.
(Mat 20:30 NASB) And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
Mat 20:30: These two men were waiting for Yeshua as He was leaving Jericho. The account in Mark only mentions the one man named Bartemaus (Mark 10:46-52). The exclusion of the other man in Mark’s account is probably due to Bartemaus being the animated man of this event while the other was subdued by comparison.
The faith of these blind men is obvious and evident to everyone. Notice the title they used when they cried out. They called Him “Son of David.” This is the title that Scripture states would belong to Messiah (1 Chron. 17:7-15). The two blind men saw very clearly that this Man was the Son of Elohim, the Son of David. The Pharisees and religious were blind to this fact even though the proof was right in front of their eyes.
(Mat 20:31 NASB) And the multitude sternly told them to be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
(Mat 20:32 NASB) And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
(Mat 20:33 NASB) They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”
(Mat 20:34 NASB) And moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
Mat 20:34: It is ironic that these men’s eyes were open all along (Psalm 119:18). They just happened to have the physical handicap of being blind. It is those that could see that had their eyes closed to the Truth.