We are into the last month of 2011. Time flies.
It is not the way of the world to have “me last”. It should be me first according to the world. Everyday we see the long queues at the malls, supermarkets, government service counters. They all speak of “me first” or is it “me first next”? In education, students aim for the “honor’s” or “dean’s list”, to be first in queue in interviews for the best jobs. Me first. Me first. Me first. That is ingrained in us from cradle to the grave.
Then comes the Lord Jesus. He says “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen“. Matthew 20:16. What a contrarian in society. What is this new way of life?
He is our supreme example when He left heaven’s glory and counted Himself as last, as He gave His life for us. He put us in the picture with the Father when He became our Redeemer. He gave His life for ours. Counting our lives more important than His, which was the only sacrifice acceptable to His Father. O what a Saviour!
Reference Barne’s Notes to the Bible:
“Many are called into my kingdom; they come and labor as I command them; many of them are comparatively unknown and obscure; yet they are real Christians, and shall all receive the proper reward. A few I have chosen for higher stations in the church. I have endowed them with apostolic gifts or with superior talents, and suited them for wider usefulness. They may not be as long in the vineyard as others; their race may be sooner run; but I have chosen to honor them in this manner, and I have a right to do it. I injure no one, and have a right to do what I will with my own.” Thus explained, this parable has no reference to the call of the Gentiles, nor to the call of aged sinners, nor to the call of sinners out of the church at all. It is simply designed to teach that in the church, among the multitudes who will be saved, Christ makes a difference. He makes some more useful than others, without regard to the time which they serve, and he will reward them accordingly. The parable teaches one truth, and but one; and where Jesus has explained it, we have no right to add to it, and say that it teaches anything else. It adds to the reason for this interpretation, that Christ was conversing about the rewards that should be given to his followers, and not about the numbers that should be called, or about the doctrine of election.”
Which is it – You first, me last? or is it me first, you last?
Whatever, it is the Lord Who will justly apply this rule for He looks on the heart.
We are unworthy to judge.