Bible Study Notes on Matthew 20 – 20180202

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Bible Study Notes

Matthew 20:1  “…kingdom of heaven is like…”
An aspect of the kingdom of heaven is like this.  Must be careful not to be narrow minded.  He is showing one aspect, not the whole thing.  Probably where we have the problem of trying to make all aspects of parables analogous.  Must be open minded to clearly see the point Jesus wants to make and stay that way to see others when He shows us.

14  “…I wish to give to this last man the same as to you”
Much here to walk through.  I think the biggest point is that God is over everything.  Things are done how He wants and how He thinks best.  I don’t think this removes any concept we have of reward in Heaven.  The Bible is clear in other places that there will be an accounting of good and bad works and rewards accordingly.  I think the idea here is to not think of Christ’s kingdom like a normal earthly kingdom, which is probably what the disciples were still doing.  We’re bound by time while the kingdom is not.  Some accept Christ at an early age and live their lives here for Him.  Others may waste their lives here on selfish things and only enter the kingdom just before they leave.  Still others may not hear of the kingdom until late in life.  And there are also those who die in childhood who don’t live much life down here.  All are granted the same standing as children of God and enter the kingdom as such.  As far as any positions in the kingdom, there may not be any as such, or a few.  Either way, God in His wisdom will place those He desires where He desires them.  We need to have the attitude of trusting and obeying and allow Him to take care of the rest.

16  “…the last will be first, and the first last…”
The thought that hit me when I read this was equality, no difference between the first and the last.  All receive the primary promise of God, that of salvation and the joys and peace that comes with it.  Eternal communion with God Himself.  Speculation on position or rank in the kingdom is useless as the whole concept will be different.  Our sin nature will be removed and with it a lot of the desires for self achievement and thoughts of our own worth.  We’ll be able to see Christ and ourselves in the true light, as He is and as we are.

16  “…many are called, but few chosen”
Commentaries had two ideas.  One thought Jesus referred to many are called into the kingdom, but few are chosen to hold positions.  The other thought He referenced salvation, many are invited or called, but few actually answer the call and enter the kingdom.  I don’t know.  I’ve tried thinking in both ways, but can’t find a good direction in either.  Going to leave it at that for the moment.

23  “…to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father”
Interesting encounter.  Not told here exactly where and when this occurred, but Matthew remembers it in the vein of what had been discussed.  I think this further shows what Jesus meant earlier.  God the Father sees and knows all.  He’ll make any decisions about positions.  Our duty is to do what He asks and to trust Him.

26  “…whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant”
Interesting thing about this is that if you put yourself in that position, the desire to be great will melt away in the desire to serve others like Christ.

30  “…O Lord, Son of David”
They used the title of the Messiah even if they didn’t understand fully that He was the Messiah.  They could have heard about Him, probably so since they began to call out when they heard He was passing by.

32  “…What do you want Me to do for you”
No real insight here as to Jesus’s thoughts, but the fact that He asked this question makes me wonder.  Obviously they would want their sight restored, but since they essentially called Him the Messiah, perhaps He is giving them a chance for something more than physical restoration.  Maybe some of that is to be seen in their reply, that their eyes be opened.  They were exhibiting an amount of faith by calling out, and they did follow Him from there.  Something to think about.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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