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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Matthew

Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 20

The subject in chapter 20 is the Parable of the laborers in the vineyard. Jesus makes the fourth and fifth announcements of His approaching death. The mother of James and John makes a request to Jesus, for places on the right and left for her sons. Jesus opens the eyes of two blind men along the roadside.

The chapter opens with the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, which continues Jesus' remarks on rewards, begun in chapter 19. From this chapter on, the pace of Matthew increases, and the Lord Jesus moves steadily to the Cross. This chapter also fills in some more of the misunderstandings of the present state of the Kingdom of Heaven. God's standard for giving rewards is stated in this parable: faithfulness to the task, instead of the amount of work done or the impressive nature of the work done, governs the giving of rewards.

This Parable of the laborers in the vineyard, is recorded only by Matthew, and is very closely connected with the last part of chapter 19. It is spoken with reference to Peter's question as to how it would be with those who, like himself, had left all he had for Christ. It is intended to show us that while all who work for God, would be richly rewarded in the eternal "vineyard" (Heaven), a crystal-clear equity and fairness would still be observed towards converts and workmen who come later in His service. Completely fair and just rewards shall be administered to ALL God's servants, no matter when they arrived to labor in the vineyard.

Parable Of The Laborers In The Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15)

Matthew 20:1 For the 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. (KJV)

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man. . . the Gospel dispensation, or times of the Messiah, may rightly be represented by a man . . .
That is an householder . . . or master of a family, as Christ is of the church (Mat.10:25). Christ Jesus is Master of the whole family of God, in Heaven and in Earth, of all the children of God and household of faith. He is Father and Master, Son and Firstborn, Priest and Prophet in His house.
Which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard . . . His vineyard . . . vineyards are often used to represent a fertile or well cultivated place; and so too the church, meaning the care and culture that God has bestowed on it (Isa.5:7; Jer.12:10; Mat 21:33). "His vineyard" may be called "His", because those He has chosen for Himself, His Father has given to Him (Jn.10:29), and of which He is heir of; and for which He has purchased with His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), and which He plants, waters and cares for and enjoys. To hire laborers . . . more workmen, for He had not gotten done all that was necessary, for we find Him going out at other hours to hire more. This parable is very closely related to chapter 19.  "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first" (Mat.19:30). Verse 16 tells us: "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." The word that starts verse 1 . . ."For" connects this paragraph with the closing remark in the preceding, "many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first." This parable is therefore intended to expound and to illustrate that thought. This intention is also indicated in verse 16, in which the parable is brought to a close by the statement, "So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called but few chosen."

Matthew 20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. (KJV)

And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day . . . a penny (denarius) a day, about fifteen cents, seems to have been the regular price for a day's labor at that time. Times have surely changed, but beware my friend . . . God does NOT change! (Mal.3:6; Heb.13:9; Jam.1:17). What was sin to Him once, shall ALWAYS be sin to Him!
He sent them into his vineyard . . . to work there: for none have any business there, except those who are called and sent by the owner of it.

Matthew 20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, (KJV)

And he went out about the third hour . . . about nine o'clock in the morning, the Jews counted the hours from six in the morning, the third being nine o'clock, the sixth was noon, the ninth was three P. M., and the eleventh was five P. M., or an hour before the close of the day.
And saw others standing idle in the market place . . . market place is the place where workers stood to be hired. It is a place where supplies were sold in town. It would be a good place to meet people and find employers. They were not idle because they were lazy, but were waiting in the right place to find employers. God's elect, before being called, are in this place.

Matthew 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. (KJV)

And said unto them, go ye also into the vineyard . . . God's call of divine grace out of the wicked world, into the church; comes from God's amazing grace, love and good will, without any merit in, or motive from man. The householder went out to these men, NOT they to Him! He calls them, and bids them go into His vineyard. They do not ask Him to hire them, nor do they desire to be in His service. And what's more, the persons called were a pack of idle, mean, vile and vulgar people; the weak, the base and the foolish of the world. Great encouragement is given them . . .
And whatsoever is right I will give you . . . whatever it is that you can earn. The contract with the first man was definite; with this one it depended on the judgment of the employer. He would give whatever was right, just, equitable, in proportion to their time.
And they went their way . . . into the vineyard (the church), to work there; which shows, that the call was powerful and effective.

Matthew 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.  (KJV)

Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise . . . about twelve o'clock, or at noon, and three o'clock in the afternoon. He called some more, and sent them into His vineyard to labor there, making the same promise, that He did to the others. He would do right by them. Isn't is wonderful that God does NOT lie (Tit.1:1), and we can believe every word that He says?

Matthew 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? (KJV)

And about the eleventh hour he went out . . . about five o'clock in the afternoon.  The Jews divided their day into twelve hours (Jn.11:9), and these twelve hours into four parts (Neh.9:3); each part has three hours, to which division there is great respect in this parable. These different times of the day with the husbandman's going out to hire laborers, may have regard to the several periods of time such as ages of the world: before the law, under the law, the times of the Messiah, and the last days; or it could mean the different dispensations of the Gospel: first by Christ and John the Baptist to the Jews, then by the apostles to the Jews in their first mission, and afterwards when their commission was renewed, first to the Jews in Judea, and then to the Jews among the nations of the world, and last of all to the Gentiles. It also could refer to the several stages of human life, and may regard Christ's call of persons in childhood, youth, manhood, and old age; with old age meaning  the eleventh hour. The eleventh hour could also mean the Gentiles, and the remainder of God's elect in the last day. There are several ways to look at this.
And found others standing idle . . . in the same position and place as before. By nature, the state and condition of God's elect before being called, is the same as all the others.  
And saith unto them, why stand ye here all the day idle? . . . being about the eleventh hour, the day was almost gone, just one hour remaining, as appears from (Mat.20:12). "All the day idle" (Pro.19:15; Eze.16:49; Acts 17:21; Heb.6:12).  

Matthew 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. (KJV)

They say unto him, because no man hath hired us . . . No man hath hired us was the reason why they were idle.
He saith unto them, go ye also into the vineyard . . . the Gospel was made the power of God, and was able to bring salvation to them. They were called by grace, became members of the same body the church, were fellow heirs with the believing Jews (Gal. 3:26-29), partakers of the same Promises and privileges, in a Gospel church state, and were equally laborers in the Lord's vineyard.
And whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive . . . they may expect payment in proportion to their labor, and the time they spend in it. This may rightly be applied to the Gentiles, who for hundreds of years were neglected by God. He took no notice of them in their state of stupidity and blindness, allowing them to walk in their own ways, sent no prophets to instruct them, had no messages from messengers to them . . . BUT when the Jews over and over again, rejected and then crucified the Messiah, and persecuted His apostles, and contradicted and blasphemed the Gospel of Truth, laborers were then ordered to go to the Gentiles, and preach it to them.  Gentiles: (Acts 8:5-17; 10:1-48; 15:1-40-21-17; Phil.4:22; Mat.28:19-20). The Lord will do right by ALL His people, ALL His laborers, ALL the time! He is just and righteous at ALL times to ALL people!   

Matthew 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. (KJV)

So when even was come . . . at six o'clock, or when the sun was set, was the time they stopped working, and the workmen came to receive their wages. This “even” may mean the evening of the Jewish state, or the calling of the Gentiles, or the close of the Gospel dispensation, or of the end of the world, when the work of it will be over.  
The lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward . . . the lord of the vineyard may mean God the Father, who has chosen and separated the vineyard of the church for Himself; and has given the care and charge of it to His Son Jesus Christ; who, as Mediator, may be intended by "His Steward"; who has not only all the supplies of grace in His Hand, to distribute to His people in this life, as each case requires; but also has eternal life and happiness in His possession for them. He not only has the Promise of it, but eternal life itself; and has the power of giving it to as many as the Father hath given Him (Jn.10:28-29); and which He, the Righteous Judge, and Faithful Steward, will give on Judgment Day, to all that love His appearing (2 Tim.4:8). Steward is the manager of the household concerns under the Master.
Call the labourers, and give them their hire . . . when the proper time is come: for it was a law to give the wages to a hired person in its time (Deut.19:13; 24:14-15). Their purest services, including sufferings for Christ, are what are due to Almighty God, what He has a perfect right to, and is their duty to perform. NO one can merit anything at His Hand, especially eternal life. The services of the laborers are impure and imperfect, and any time that anything is done well by them, it is done NOT by their own knowledge and power, but with the help and grace of God . . . therefore NO one can make any demand on Him, and would be very foolish to do so. Eternal life is a reward, not a reward of debt, but of grace  (1 Cor.3:10-15). It is the free gift of God (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8-9), and comes ONLY through Christ Jesus (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). God has graciously promised it in the covenant of His grace, before the world began (Tit.1:2). He has placed it only but surely into the Hands of His Son for His people, and Jesus gives it freely to ALL the sheep the Father has given Him.
Beginning from the last unto the first . . . starting with the last that was called and sent into the vineyard, and so proceeding on to the next to them; giving them their wages as He went along, until He came to the first, who was hired early in the morning into this service. "The first shall be last, and last first."   First shall be last: (Mat.12:45; 19:30; 20:16; Mk.9:35; 10:51; Lk.13:30).

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

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny . . . a full day's wages. There was no agreement as to how much they would receive; simply that justice would be done (verses 4-5). The householder either supposed they had earned it, or chose to make a gift to them to make up for the loss of the first part of the day, when they were willing but could not find work.  Every man got exactly what was first agreed upon, those who were hired early to those hired late in the day . . . every man received the same, no one received more and no one less. My friend, the same church privileges and protection are there for ALL believers, be they Jews or Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), no matter when they were called. They all are entitled to the same inheritance (Jn. 14:2-3; 1  Pet.1:4-5) of eternal life and happiness, which will be enjoyed by all alike. They all are loved with the same everlasting love by God the Father; they all are chosen in the same way by Him, in His Son, in the same way and manner, and by and to the same grace and glory. They are interested in the same covenant, in all the Promises and blessings of it; they are bought with the same price of a Redeemer's Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), are justified by the same righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), and are called in same hope of their calling (Tit.1:2). They, no matter when they come, are equally the sons of God (Jn.1:12-13; Rom.8:14,19; Gal.4:6-7; Phil.2:15; 1 Jn.3:1-2), and their glory and happiness are always expressed by an everlasting kingdom, a crown (1 Pet.5:4), and incorruptible inheritance (1 Pet.1:4-5). They all are equally heirs of the same kingdom and glory, and are born again (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8) to the same incorruptible inheritance, of which they will all be partakers. But, I believe that just as there will be degrees of punishment in Hell (Lk.12:47-48), according to the sins of men, there will also be degrees in rewards in Heaven, for the faith of His children.   http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_according_to_works.htm

Matthew 20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. (KJV)

But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more . . . they had worked longer; they had been in the heat longer; so they thought that they should be paid not according to contract, but according to the time they spent working. Those who were hired early into the vineyard are either the first saints that were in the world such Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., or the Jews that first believed in Christ; not that any could expect it on account of their work; but because they were aware that they that came last into the vineyard, had as much right to be there as they, and that they were happy on what was agreed upon.
And they likewise received every man a penny . . . the same privileges of the Gospel, the same reward of free grace of God and the same eternal glory and happiness.

Matthew 20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, (KJV)

And when they had received it,  they murmured against the good man of the house . . . murmured means complained, found fault with. The good man of the house . . . is the same as the householder in verse 1. It is an old way of meaning the father of a family. It expresses no moral quality. ("Against the good man" Lk.15:29-30). He had been kind and generous to those who came last into the vineyard, and had done nothing wrong to those who had come first, but gave them a full reward. So too, the Jews that first believed in Christ, were at first troubled at the Gospel being preached to the Gentiles, and at the calling of them, and their sharing of the same privileges in a Gospel church state with them, without submitting to the ceremonies of the law, as they had done (Acts 15).

Matthew 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. (KJV)

Saying, these last have wrought but one hour . . . they thought it wrong that they should have the same pay for the service of one hour, while others had worked for many. There was bitter resentment . . . "we have worked all day, but this man has worked just one hour, yet he gets the same wages as ours.'' Before I became a child of God, I thought exactly like this, because I did not know the vineyard represented Heaven. "Have wrought" or "have continued one hour only."
And thou hast made them equal to us, who have borne the burden and they heat of the day . . . the burden means heavy labor, rigorous work. They are saying: “we have continued working in the heat of the whole day, while the others had worked only a short time, and that in the cool of the evening, and when it is much more pleasant and much less tiring.

Matthew 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? (KJV)

But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong . . . speaking to the one was most forward and loud in his complaints, and represented the rest. He gives to all the same privileges and blessings, from the first to the last. The Lord does NO wrong to anyone; He makes no distinction among His creatures. He is just and righteous in all His ways, and holy and pure in all His works.
Didst thou not agree with me for a penny? . . . to work in the vineyard all the day for a penny? The salvation of the Gentiles is no obstacle to the Jews. There is just one Jesus, the same Jesus is for both the Jew and the Greek. Eternal life is offered to both through the precious Blood of the Saviour (1 Pet.1:18-19); and there is room enough in Heaven for the whole world IF they are wise enough to choose to walk with Jesus on that narrow road (Mat.7:13-14). Jews and the Greek: (Acts 20:21; Rom.1:16; 10:12; 1 Cor.1:24).         

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

Take that thine is, and go thy way . . . take what you agreed upon and go.
I will give unto this last, even as unto thee . . . the man that was called, and sent into the vineyard last, would get the same pay.

Matthew 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? (KJV)

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? . . . the Word of God and His ordinances are God's own; and He may bestow them on whomever He chooses, when and where He chooses. Just as the Jews had them for many hundreds of years, and the Gentiles were utterly destitute of them; He then has bestowed them in a more abundant manner for a long time on the Gentiles, while the Jews despise and reject them. His exceptional and unique grace is His and His alone, and He gives it to whomever He pleases. It is by this amazing grace, and NOT the merits of men, that any are chosen, adopted, called, justified, pardoned and regenerated. It is from this grace alone that they have faith, hope, love and repentance, and can obey from the new heart given to them. New heart: (Deut.30:6; Ps.51:10; Jer.32:39; Eze.11:19-20; 18:31; 36:26; Jn.3:3-5; 2 Cor.3:18; Gal.6:15; Eph.2:10; Rev.21:5). What is enjoyed by anyone comes from God’s grace, and never through anyone’s merit. Because of this there is absolutely NO room for envy, murmuring or complaint for anyone. Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) God will have mercy on whomever He wants (Rom.9:15-24).
Is thine eye evil because I am good? . . . the Jews used the word evil, when applied to the eye, to mean one envious and malicious (Deut.15:9; Pro.23:6). The eye is called evil in such cases, because envy and malice show themselves clearly n the eye. No passions are so fully expressed by the eye as are these. Does envy show itself in your eye? Does your eye express envy and malice?  

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (KJV)

So the last shall be first, and the first last . . . Mat. 19:30  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (KJV) . . . These words are clearly illustrated by this parable, for it may be applied to Jews or Gentiles, to supposed (hypocrites) and to TRUE Christians.
For many be called . . . externally, under the care of the Gospel, just as the Jews were generally called  by Christ and His apostles, but . . .
But few chosen . . . in Christ from all eternity. This is evident by the few among the Jews; and also the meager few among the Gentiles. But, the few that are outwardly called, are inwardly and effectually called by the powerful grace of God, out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet.2:9), into the awesome liberty of the Gospel, into communion with Christ, and to the obtaining His eternal kingdom and glory. Matthew 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV) . . . What a sobering thought this is!

This is a tremendous parable which illustrates a very important truth . . . it is NOT the amount of time which you serve, nor is it the status or importance of your position which determines your reward. You shall instead, be rewarded for your faithfulness to God and to the task which He has given you to do. It does NOT matter how small or how insignificant you think it is.

Jesus' Fourth Announcement Of His Death And Resurrection (Matthew 20:17-19)

Matthew 20:17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, (KJV)

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem . . . Jerusalem was located in the land of Israel, is said to be higher than any other land, and the temple at Jerusalem was higher than any part of the land of Israel; so Christ's going to Jerusalem, is expressed by going up to it. Whether He came from the coasts of Judea, from beyond Jordan (Mat.19:1), where He had been for some time healing diseases, disputing with the Pharisees, speaking with the young ruler, and instructing His apostles; or from a city called Ephraim (Jn.11:54), where He continued for some time with His apostles, after the Sanhedrim had taken counsel to put Him to death; for this was His last journey to Jerusalem.
Took the twelve disciples apart in the way . . . to some private place, which was close to the road; for it seems that there were others that followed Him, as well as the twelve. He was not willing that these others should hear what He had to say to the apostles about the matter of this journey.

Matthew 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, (KJV)

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem . . . this would be the last time they would be going there together, and He wanted them to pay attention to what He had to say them. Some astonishing things will come to pass, as Luke states: Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. (KJV) . . . Everything that is recorded in Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53 and other prophecies of the Old Testament, concerning to the horrible treatment of the Messiah, His sufferings and death, and the conditions attending them, shall be exactly fulfilled in every way by His sufferings and death; and so that they might know what He meant, He gives an accurate account of a variety of exact things which would happen to Him.
And the Son of man shall be betrayed . . . He does not say by whom, although He knew from the beginning who would betray Him, that it would be one of His disciples, and that it would be Judas (Mat.26:15). The persons into whose hands He was to be betrayed, are mentioned;
Unto the chief priests, and unto the Scribes . . . who were His most confirmed and hardhearted enemies; and who were the persons that had already taken counsel to put Him to death. Chief Priests and Scribes were the learned men who made up the Sanhedrim, or great council of the nation. He was delivered to the chief priests and scribes (Mat.26:57).
And they shall condemn him to death . . . the Jews did not have power to inflict death upon Him, for that was taken away by the Romans; but they did have power to express their opinion, and to deliver Him to the Romans to be put to death. And this is what they did (Mat.26:66; 27:2).

Matthew 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. (KJV)

And shall deliver him to the Gentiles . . . because they do not have the right to kill Him, they deliver Him to those who have-the Roman authority. The Gentiles here mean Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers (Mat.27:2,27-30).
To mock . . . they mocked Him by putting a scarlet robe on Him, platting a crown of thorns, and placing it on his head, and a reed in his hand; and then bowed their knees to Him, and cried, hail, king of the Jews! (Mat. 27:28-29)
And to scourge him . . . He was beaten by Pilate’s orders. Mark adds, "and spit upon him" (Mk.14:65; 15:19), as did the Jews in the palace of the high priest, and also the Gentiles, the Roman soldiers, after they had mocked him in this manner. Scourge means to whip unmercifully, a punishment commonly inflicted upon criminals before crucifixion (Mat.10:17).
And to crucify him . . . a cruel and shameful death, such as the worst of criminals were put to (Mat.27:35).
And the third day he shall rise again . . . this He said to comfort His disciples; but although these things were clearly and distinctly expressed by Christ, and show His omniscience, and give proof both of His deity and Messiahship, yet Luke says of them, "that they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken" (Lk.18:34). The words were plain, but they could not imagine that this was to be taken literally; for this was a clear contradiction to what they believed of the temporal kingdom of the Messiah, and the grandeur of it.

    The Request Of James And John' Mother Of (Matthew 20:20-28)

When Jesus made the significant announcement of His pending death, the mother of James and John came to Jesus to ask Him a favor for her sons.

Matthew 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. (KJV)

Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children . . . this was probably Salome (Mat.27:56; Mk.15:40; 16:1). She is called the mother of Zebedee’s children, his two sons, James and John, and who were the disciples of Christ. It is not known if Zebedee was ever a follower of Jesus; and so the woman is described by her relation to her children.
With her sons . . . her two sons, James and John, whom Mark mentions by name.
Worshipping him . . . it seems she was a follower of Jesus (Mk.15:40; 16:1).   
And desiring a certain thing of him . . . she either bowed or kneeled to Him, or fell at His Feet, for she had a big favor to ask of Him. Mark says that her two sons, James and John, came to Christ, no mention of their mother, and that they themselves spoke to Him, and addressed Him in this manner: "Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us, whatsoever we shall desire" (Mk.10:35).
 
Matthew 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. (KJV)

And he said unto her, What wilt thou? . . . Mark says, "he said unto them"; her two sons, James and John, "what would you that I should do for you?" The Lord Jesus was not ignorant of the matter; He knew the corruption of their hearts, the vanity of their minds, and their worldly, ambitious views. The goodness and patience of Christ was clearly apparent, in not scolding them for their pride and brazenness.
She saith unto him, grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on the right hand, and the other the left in thy kingdom . . . Mark says "in thy glory" meaning a temporal one, which would outdo all the kingdoms of the world, in external glory, pomp, and splendor, as they thought, to sit one on the right hand and the other on the left hand of Christ, when He would be seated, literally, on the throne of His father David, means to be nearest to Him in His power and authority. They were still looking for a temporal kingdom. They expected that He would reign on the Earth with great pomp and glory. They thought that He would conquer as a Prince and a Warrior. To sit on the right and left hand of a prince was a symbol of confidence, and the highest honor granted to His friends (1 Ki.2:19; Ps.110:1; 1 Sam.20:25). The apostles here had no true idea as to the
Kingdom of Heaven, just to the kingdom which they supposed that He was about to set up on the Earth.

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. (KJV)

But Jesus answered, and said . . . to her two sons,
Ye know not what ye ask . . . you do not know what would be involved in this. You think that this would be only honor and happiness; but it would involve much suffering and trial. They were totally unaware of the nature of Christ's Kingdom, which is spiritual, and NOT of this world: or they would never have asked such a question.
Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with? . . . to drink of a cup, in the Scriptures often means to be afflicted, or sometimes to be punished (Isa.51:17,22; Ps.75:8). The form is taken from a feast, where the master of a feast extends a cup to those present. Here, God is represented as extending to His Son a cup filled with a bitter mixture . . . one that would cause deep sufferings (Jn.18:11). This was the cup to which He referred. Cup of Jesus: (Ps.75:8; Eze.23:31; Mat.16:21; 20:18-22; 26:39,42; Mk.14:35-36; Lk.22:42; Heb.12:2; 1 Pet.2:24; 3:18). The baptism that I am baptized with . . . are ye able to suffer with me . . . to endure the trials and pains which shall come upon you and me in trying to build up my kingdom? Are you able to be plunged deep in afflictions, to have sorrows cover you like a flood? Afflictions are often expressed in the Bible by being sunk in the floods, and plunged in the deep waters (Ps.18:4; 42:7; 69:15; 124:4-5; Isa.8:7-8; 28:2; 43:2; 59:19; Jer.46:7-8; Lam.3:54; Dan.9:26; Rev.12:15-16; 17:1,15). 
They say unto him, we are able . . . they did not consider the nature of these sufferings, nor their weakness; but through ignorance and vain confidence they thought they possessed, they thought drinking his cup, and being baptized with his baptism, were the conditions and way of enjoying the Kingdom, and they foolishly confirm their ability.  

Matthew 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. (KJV)

And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup . . . not exactly the same one, but what it was like . . . they would endure much persecution for His Name's sake, as is true for all that will live a godly life in Christ Jesus, in one form or another; some more than others. So it was that James, one of these two sons, was slain by the sword by Herod; and John, the other brother was imprisoned, and beaten by the order of the Jewish Sanhedrim, and was banished to the isle of Patmos by Domitian. Some reports say that he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, but was saved in it. So, Jesus’ Words seem to be a prophecy of what they would suffer for Christ . . . instead of enjoying places of worldly honor and profit in seats next to Him, as they were seeking for.  Ye shall drink: (Acts 12:2; Rom.8:17; 2 Cor.1:7; Rev.1:9).  
And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with . . . this clause is omitted by some versions. IF tradition is right, and James was bathed in his own blood when he was killed with the sword, and John being cast into a vessel of scalding oil . . . that would rightly express a baptism.
But to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine, to give . . . is this really at conflict with the testimony of the Scriptures (Mat.25:31-40; Jn.5:22-30)? As much as the Lord Jesus might be attached to these two apostles, He could not bestow any such favors upon them out of the regular course of rewards. Rewards are prepared for His followers, and in due time they would be bestowed on them (1 Cor.3:12-23). He would bestow them according just as they had been provided for from eternity by God the Father (Mat.25:34).       
But it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father . . . eternal life, or the heavenly glory, is a kingdom prepared by Jesus’ Father, from the foundation of the world (Tit.1:2), and not just certain people, but for EVERY person. I do think that there are distinctions in Heaven just as there are in Hell. I do not think that all who go to Hell shall receive the same punishment. There is a great difference between a sadistic, cold-blooded killer and a kind, good-hearted person who refuses to accept God’s only Way to Heaven (Jesus, Jn.14:6). Unbelief is a SIN and will place a person in Hell. http://www.hisservants.org/worst_sin_h_s.htm . . . BOTH receive eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:15), but one will receive greater punishment because of repeated violence and judged according to their sins (Rev.20:12-13).  I also believe there are distinctions in Heaven; a person who has faithfully served God for many years will receive greater reward that the person who accepted Jesus on their death-bed. They BOTH receive eternal life in Heaven, but one will receive more reward than the other.
There is a  very important message here to Christians today. Our Lord is NOT saying that there is NO place at His right Hand and left Hand for someone. He is saying that He will not randomly give the positions to James and John or to anyone else. He is saying that those places are for those who prepare themselves for them. Please consider this: Heaven is for the asking, for whosoever! You do nothing, NOT one thing for salvation. Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) . . . You are saved by your faith in Christ through His marvelous grace. BUT . . . your position, your reward in Heaven is determined, decided, by what YOU do in this life on Earth. That is extremely important, and most “Christians” seem to have lost sight of it. What kind of a place are you preparing for yourself? As for me personally, I have absolutely NO thought for those places on Christ's right or left hand. I honestly think that I really am “least of all saints” (Eph.3:8). I keep pressing onward, not because I must or have to, but because I want to. I can never repay my Saviour for what He has done for me. I can never love Him enough. Serving Him is a tremendous joy and privilege. Phil. 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (KJV) . . . Far too few Christians today are trying to win anything. We must understand that salvation as a free gift (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8), but we must get on the race course of life if we want to receive a reward.

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

And when they ten heard it . . . the other ten apostles, who heard the request, and Christ's answer, or had by some other means information of it.
They were moved with indignation against the two brethren . . . James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. They were not as displeased with the mother, as they were with her sons. They were offended at their ambition, and their desire to be exalted above them. The word "it" refers not to what Jesus said, but to their request. When the ten heard the request which James and John had made, they were very angry. Mark says, "they began to be much displeased with" them, and to show their resentment, not only by their looks and gestures, but by words. It seems very likely that a literal fight would have take place, had Jesus not spoken up as He did.

Matthew 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 upon them. (KJV)

But Jesus called them unto him . . . the same ambitions probably prevailed in all the apostles, and He wanted to discourage and prevent their quarrelling one with another.
And said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them . . . the Lord Jesus tells them that the rulers of the Gentiles have power over them, and the officials have complete authority to lord it over the people beneath them.  They also declare a preeminence over them, and exercise authority on those that are beneath them; which they have received from those that are above them. This is the usual method of the governments of the kingdoms of this world . . . and therefore, for the apostles to desire a superiority to each other in the kingdom of Christ, was to imitate the Gentiles, and to act according to worldly forms of government; which is very unsuitable to the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, whose kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world.

Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (KJV)

But it shall not be so among you . . . this is not how it should be for Christian nations, as if there were to be no order of governing within them. Since they, being all apostles of Christ, being equally qualified and sent, and put into the very same office by Him: the same holds true of all pastors of churches, who have no pre-eminence over one another, or can or should exercise any lordly power and authority, over the rest (Mat.23:11; Mk.9:35; 10:43; 1 Pet.5:3). They all were equally invested with the same office power, one the same as another . . . otherwise Jesus’ Kingdom would be the same as the nations of the world, and be of a worldly nature . . . whereas it is NOT worldly, but spiritual, and is not in worldly pomp and grandeur, and in external superiority and pre-eminence of one another. Jesus’ Kingdom was/is the spiritual administration of the Holy Word and ordinances; which EVERY pastor or teacher of a church has an equal right to exercise, and obedience to them lies in submitting to these things.
But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister . . . whosoever wants to be considered a great man in the Kingdom of Christ, or under the Gospel dispensation, MUST be a minister (servant) to others IF he really wants to be truly great in the opinion of God and of men. He MUST do good service for Christ, and to the souls of men; and try to bring great glory to God, by faithfully ministering the Word and ordinances, and by denying himself worldly honor and glory, and by serving others in a willing and loving way, even though it might be through much reproach, difficulty and opposition.

Matthew 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  (KJV)

And whosoever will be chief among you . . . chief = first, or to have the pre-eminence, the first place in the Kingdom of the Messiah.
Let him be your servant . . . or as Mark says: shall be servant of all. Not only a minister, but a servant . . . and not just a servant of some, but a servant of all (Mk.9;35; 10:44). This was verified in the Apostle Paul, who became a servant to all men, even though he was free, that he might gain some to Christ (1 Cor.7:22; 9:19) and by so doing was the chief, although he considered himself the least of the apostles yea, less than the least of all saints (Eph.3:8). The Jews have a neat saying: “Everyone that makes himself as a servant, for the words of the law in this world, shall be made free in the world to come.”

Matthew 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. (KJV)

Even as the son of man . . . meaning Himself, the Seed of the woman (Gen.3:15), the son of Abraham, and of David (Mat.1:1), according to the flesh. This was Jesus’ favorite Name for Himself. Son of Man: (Mat.8:20; 9:6; 10:23; 11:19; 12:8,32,40; 13:37,41; 16:13,27,28; 17:9,12,22; 18:11; 19:28; 20:18,28; 24:27,30,37,39,44; 25:13,31; 26:2,24,64; Mk.2:10; 3:28,31,38; 9:9,12,31; 10:33,45; 13:26,34; 14:21,41,62; Lk. 5:24;6:5; 7:34; 9:22,26,44,56,58; 11:30: 12:8,10,40; 1722;24,26; 18:8,31; 19:10; 21:27,36; 22:22,48,69; 24:7: Jn.1:51; 3:13-14; 5:27; 6;53; 6:62; 8:28; 12:23,34; 13:31)
Came not to be ministered unto but to minister . . . came in the form of a servant to others, doing good, both to the bodies and souls of men: He "came" forth from His Father, from Heaven, into this world, by assuming human nature, to "minister" in the prophetic office, preaching the Gospel and working miracles.
And to give his life a ransom for many . . . ransom means a price paid for the redemption of captives. It is the means by which they are set free. Anything that releases any one from a state of punishment, or suffering, or sin, is called a ransom. Men are by nature captives to sin. They are sold under it, under condemnation (Eph.2:3; Rom.3:9-20,23; 1 Jn.5:19).  They are under a curse  (Gal.3:10). They are literally in love with sin, and are exposed to eternal death (Eze.18:4; Ps.9:17; 11:6; 68:2; 139:19; Matt.25:46; Rom.2:6-9). They would perish in the Lake of Fire  (Rev.20:15), unless there had been some way made possible by which they could be rescued. God the Father made this One and Only Way (Jn.14:6) possible for “whosoever” might be interested in going to Heaven instead of Hell. This Way was achieved by the death of Jesus, His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16); by giving His life as a ransom for us sinners. It all boils down to: He died willingly in the place of sinners, and that God was willing to accept the pains of His death in the place of the eternal suffering of the redeemed. The reasons why such a ransom was necessary are,
#1. He shows His hatred (punishment), to all sin (disobedience to Him). God declared that the sinner must die (2 Thes.1:8-9; 1 Pet.4:17-18; Col.3:25; Heb.10:29-31).
#2. That all men had sinned; and if justice was to take its regular course, all must perish (Rom.3:9,23; 5:12).
#3. That man could make no atonement for his own sins. Repentance and future obedience cannot blot away even one sin (Jn.6:28-29; Rom.3:20; 5:1,9-10; 9:32; 11:6; Gal.2:16; 5:1; Eph.2:8:9; 2 Tim.1:9; Tit.3:4-5).
For many: (Mat.26:28; Jn.10:16; 2 Cor.5:14-15; 1 Tim.2:6; Heb.2:9; 1 Jn.2:2).
But to minister: (Lk.22:27; Jn.13:1-38; 4:14-15 Phil.2:7).       
And to give: (Isa.53:5,8,11; Dan.9:24-27; 1 Tim.2:6; Tit.2:14; Heb.9:28; 1 Pet.1:18-19; Rev.1:5-6).   

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men (Matthew 20:29-34)

Matthew 20:29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. (KJV)

And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him . . . Jericho was about ten miles from Jerusalem. This was where Christ had just passed through, and had met with Zacchaeus (Luke 19), and delivered the parable concerning a nobleman's going into a far country.

 Matthew 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. (KJV)

And behold, two blind men sitting by the wayside . . . Mark 10:46 and Luke 18:35 mention only one blind man, Bartimeus. Sitting by the way side . . . a good place to receive alms, because of the multitudes going and coming between Jerusalem and Jericho.
When they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David . . . they had heard many things concerning Him, and the miracles He had done, wanted Him to help them. Calling Him "Son of David," was owning and professing Him to be the Messiah, for that was a common Name of Him, very well known among the Jews (Mat.1:1). The humble but loud petition they make is, that He would "have mercy on them", who through blindness, were in a poor, helpless, and miserable condition; and this request was made with great forcefulness. They "cried" out aloud, that He might hear them, and have pity on them. They wanted to be able to see.

Matthew 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. (KJV)

And the multitude rebuked them,  because they should hold their peace. . . “be quiet.” If these were His friends, the rebuke was that they might not be so troublesome to Him, and if they were His enemies, they might rebuke them for giving Him such high names, such as Lord, and Son of David.
But they cried the more, saying, have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David . . . they just cried out all the more loudly, that their voice might be above the noise of the people, and be heard by Christ. They renewed their request with all the more eagerness and persistence, repeating the names they called Him before, they were not in the least intimidated by the rebukes of the people. Their faith in Jesus, as the Messiah, was all the more increased, and their desire of His mercy and compassion enlarged, as they grew bolder, and more firm, as faith often does by opposition, and trials.

Matthew 20:32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? (KJV)

And Jesus stood still, and called them . . . let us never forget, that the cry of a believing penitent, is more than ample to stop the merciful Jesus.
What will ye that I shall do unto you? . . . what do you want me to do for you? He knew exactly what they wanted! He wanted to show both His power and willingness to do anything for them they should ask. I think that their faith in Him was made manifest, and I think that pleased the Lord. Christ Jesus is at ALL times willing to save sinners, when the sincere desire of the heart is turned towards Him, there will be little delay in the salvation.

Matthew 20:33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. (KJV)

They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened . . . that their sight might be restored to them; for they could not see. The opening of the eyes of the blind was prophesied of, as what should be done in the days of the Messiah, and by Him, as an evidence of His being that Person (Isa.35:5). Their request shows, that they had no doubt, but firmly believed that Christ was able to do this for them, although the thing was utterly impossible to be done by man. This in my way of thinking, concludes that He was NOT just a mere Man as so many insist, but the Son of the living God. Only God can heal and give life!

Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. (KJV)

So Jesus had compassion on them . . . His bowels of mercy moved towards them as a man; He pitied their miserable and distressed condition, and the tenderness of His heart reached out to them, and touched their eyes; with His bare Hand, without the use of any instrument or medicine.
And immediately their eyes received sight . . . that very moment their eyes were opened.  The cure was done at once, a clear proof of the omnipotence of Christ, and of His true and proper deity.
And they followed him . . . they physically joined the multitude, and went after Him to Jerusalem.

A comment on verses 1-16

Planting, maintaining and harvesting vineyards in first-century Israel was very hard work in the heat of summer. Some times more workers were needed to get all the work done. The owner of this vineyard offered wages of one penny, a Roman’s soldier’s pay for a day, and this was generous. The workers in the first group were more than happy to work for that amount. 

But, the work was not getting done as swiftly as the owner desired, so He went out to hire more workers.  This time, no specific wage was mentioned, just that the landowner promised to pay “whatever is right.” It seems that the workers were sure of the landowner’s character, and they trusted Him to keep His word. Four times the landowner went out to hire workers, the last time was just one hour before the end of the day. Bur . . . when the time came for the wages to be paid, the first group of workers saw the last group being paid a penny and were clearly thinking that they would be paid more since they had worked the hardest and the longest. They became  angry with the landowner when they saw they would all be paid the same, even though they had received exactly what they had agreed upon when they were hired. The landowner was forced to defend His actions to the first group, even though He had dealt them perfectly fair, and according to what they had agreed upon. 

Was the landowner unjust in His decision to pay all the workers the same? Absolutely not! It was NOT injustice, but instead an act of mercy! The landowner represents God, whose amazing grace and bountiful mercy are shed abundantly upon those of His choosing. Romans 9:15-16  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (KJV)
So it is, in the matter of salvation. His grace and mercy are GIVEN freely  to those whose self-righteous works could NEVER obtain it.  Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV) . . . His grace is sufficient to redeem ANYONE who believes, no matter what their past is, no matter how vile their sin was. It is God's decision alone, on whether He calls someone early or late in their life to take part of His grace. The glory and praise for our salvation is His and His alone and in NO way can be associated with being unfair or unjust.  Just as the landowner has a perfect right to do exactly what He wants with His own money, so too, does God have the right to have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

The first workers in the vineyard deeply resented receiving the same wage as the last group, who had done much less work and in the cool of the day on top of it. Their attitude was like that of the Pharisees, who were infuriated at Jesus’ teaching that others could inherit a heavenly kingdom they thought was reserved for them alone. They hated Jesus for offering the kingdom to poor, oppressed sinners whom He made equal to them. They had an “evil eye” which according to a Hebrew phrase, referred to jealousy and envy. So sad that God’s goodness and mercy produced in the self-righteous Pharisees (and unbelievers today) the evil eye of envy. The remaining workers received their wages with no complaint or envy. My dear friend, we as TRUE Christians, should rejoice when others come to the Saviour, and we should also rejoice in the service others make to Him. He is faithful to reward us for our service, just as He has promised, and HOW He rewards others should be of no importance to us, nor should it ever affect our devotion and love to Him.

The tremendous message in verse 16, “the last will be first, and the first last,” is that no matter how long or how hard a believer works during his life, the reward of eternal life will be the same given to all . . . an eternity of bliss in Heaven in the awesome Presence of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The thief on the cross (Lk.23:39-43), whose service was limited to just one moment of repentance and confession of faith in Christ, received the same reward of eternal life as the apostle Paul. We must remember though, that the Bible does teach that there are different rewards in Heaven, for different services, but the most important reward, that of eternal life will be achieved by all equally.

Heavenly crowns that believers can receive in Heaven

There are five heavenly crowns mentioned in the New Testament that will be given to believers. 

#1. The Imperishable Crown. 1 Cor. 9:24-25 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (KJV)
All things on Earth are decay and shall perish. We are NOT to not store our treasures on Earth. Mat. 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (KJV) . . . Faithful endurance wins a heavenly reward which is “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet.1:3-5).

#2. The Crown of Rejoicing. 1 Thes. 2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (KJV) . . . The apostle Paul tells us to “rejoice always in the Lord” (Phil.4:4), for ALL the bountiful blessings our gracious God has showered upon us. The crown of rejoicing will be our reward. Rev. 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (KJV)

#3. The Crown of Righteousness. 2 Tim. 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (KJV) . . . We inherit this crown through the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30) which is what gives us a right to it. Without being justified by the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor.5:21), this crown cannot be obtained. Enduring discouragement, persecution, suffering or even death, we know surely our reward is with Christ in eternity (Phil.3:20-21). This crown is not for anyone who depends on their own righteousness or their own works. This kind of attitude raises only arrogance and pride, not a longing, a fervent desire to be with the Lord.

#4. The Crown of Glory. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (KJV) . . .Although Peter is speaking to the elders, we must also remember that the crown will be awarded to ALL those who long for or love His appearing. This word “glory" here could mean that the praise and honor we bestow to God alone is due Him because of Who He is (Isa.42:8; 48:11; Gal. 1:5). My dear friend, born again believers are incredibly blessed to enter into the kingdom, into the very likeness of Christ Himself. Phil. 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (KJV) Romans 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (KJV)

#5. The Crown of Life. Rev. 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (KJV) . . . This crown is for ALL believers, but is especially treasured by those who endure sufferings, who bravely confront persecution for Jesus, even to the point of death. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV) . . . Air, food and water are necessary for our physical lives, Jesus provides us what is required for our spiritual lives. He is the One, the ONLY One, who provides “living water.” He is also the “bread of life” (Jn.4:10; 6:35). We know that our physical lives will end, but we have the amazing Promise that comes only to those who come to God through Jesus. John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)   1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (KJV)   Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (KJV)  

James tells us that this crown of life is for all those who love God (Jam.1:12). HOW do we show our love for God? Obedience to Him!  1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (KJV) . . . As His children we must keep His commandments, we must obey Him, and we must always remain faithful to Him, no matter what unavoidable trials, pains, heartaches and tribulations may come up . . . as long as we live!

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV) . . . We are look to the Saviour for everything! We are to look to His holy life; to His love, to His patience and to His perseverance in trials; and remember what He endured in order to obtain the crown for us, and to His final success and triumph (and ours). My friend. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We must always keep this in mind! Keep your eyes and heart on Jesus and you won't go wrong!

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