Jesus says again, “So the last will be first, and the first last.” He illustrates this with a story about laborers. They all work different amounts of hours but all get paid the same, regardless of how long they worked, and the ones that work the least amount of hours get paid first.
The ones that worked longer hours are not happy about this payment system bc they assume they are entitled to more. Jesus explains that the master can do whatever he likes with what he has. Although we may think we deserve more or are better than others, that is not how Jesus operates. Part of having faith is trusting the Lord with what He has given us and not looking around and comparing it to others (2 Corinthians 10:12). Jesus tends to the whole flock but He knows best what to specifically give to each individual for their good and for His glory.
Therefore, when Zacchaeus, a rich chief tax collector, sought to see Jesus “but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short statue”; Jesus tells him to come down from the sycamore tree bc He is going to eat dinner at his house.
The crowd couldn’t believe that Jesus would want to eat with a disgusting sinner such as Zacchaeus the tax collector. The Jews believe tax collectors are traitors trying to profit off their own people by taking money from the Jews to give to the Roman Empire. But Zacchaeus believes that Jesus is Lord so he “made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully…and said to the Lord, ’Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’” Therefore Jesus says to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Regardless of Zacchaeus’s position in life or public opinion about him, he is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
While Jesus is journeying to Jerusalem with his disciples he tells them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” Then a couple disciples ask to sit next to Jesus “one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” Again Jesus has to explain that being part of His kingdom isn’t about your own personal power or position; it is quite the opposite from how things run in the world. ”Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
We end the reading with another parable from Jesus “because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.” The parable is about a master and his servants. The master tells the servants to “Do business till I come.” The parable teaches that the Lord expects those who belong to Him to be diligent in doing work for the kingdom until Jesus’s return. The master in the parable wants his servants to make an investment and not just play it safe by doing nothing with what they have been given.
Following Jesus is definitely not dull! Jesus calls His followers to step outside of their comfort zones and serve Him. And why not? We have nothing to lose and someone else has everything to gain by hearing truth. And the beauty of it is that He will give us everything that we need through the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes. So just do it! 😁
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Tomorrow is Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Keep reading.
(Matthew 20:1-16, Mark 10:32-34, Matthew 20:17-19, Luke 18:31-34, Mark 10:35-45, Matthew 20:20-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-19:27)