KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 20:16 (KJV). “So, the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”
The Lord said, that, those who are first, shall be the last, and rather the last shall become the first. This is a statement that has baffled the understanding of many. I believe the explanation can be found within the context of the story the Lord narrated.
In the Lord’s story some groups of men were employed by an entrepreneur, at various times in the day. At the end of the day, he paid all of them the SAME amount. Those who came earlier got offended about what this man had done. It is this act of getting offended that disqualified them. Although they were first, they had fallen out of favour with the entrepreneur. It is one’s attitude of thinking that by virtue of some qualifications, they should have been preferred, and so they get offended about God’s choices. Many people are also offended about how He has handled certain people.
A typical example, is the case of the prodigal son and his elder brother. The younger son erred by taking away his share of the Father’s inheritance and wasted everything on riotous living. He came back and the father threw a party to his honour. The elder brother who was in the good books of the father, got so offended that he would not come to the party. He felt it was his right to be honoured and celebrated that way. Beloved brethren, if he had held on to his offence, he would have totally lost his place in the father’s acknowledgement (Luke 15:11-32). He was first, yet because of offence he would have become the last. The last one, that is the prodigal son, would have become the first. Many are called, yet offence disqualifies them, so a few are chosen.
Dear brother is there any wrong feelings in your heart about another person, who seem to have been favoured or privileged more than you? You may be thinking you should have been honoured because you are older, or you came into the ministry first. A very pretty unmarried lady may be feeling, God has not treated her well, by allowing the less pretty ones to be married. Any such ill feeling in your heart places you out of the choice of God.
THOUGHT:IT IS YOUR GOOD OR BAD HEART THAT DETERMINES WHETHER YOU ARE FIRST OR LAST
Hebrews 12:15 (KJV). “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”
Genesis 4:6-7 (KJV). And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.