Genesis 31 / Psalm 35 / Matthew 20
So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
This chapter is broken into 4 sections: 1-16, 17-19, 20-28 & 29-end. The above verse is what it's about, and what the kingdom of God and His sons is about, as Jesus starts the first parable:
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard.
The details of the parable don't seem as substantial as how he closes it when he says about the last being first and the first last, because that is how God is compared to the way the humans are, and the way they expect Him to act and be is the opposite of how He is. The humans instinctively consider themselves so inherently valuable, so they expect all sort of thing on their behalf about how He's going to accommodate them, as though that is a requirement of God because they're so valuable to Him. However, that's only the way they feel about themselves and their mistake is transferring that feeling onto the way they want God to be; but He isn't that way so they have to make up their own gods that feel about them the way they need them to feel in order to get that animal agreement they always crave to have—the feeling that they have control of things around them, especially what's going to happen to them after they're dead.
God does whatever He wants. Just because there are long established religious institutions doesn't mean that God had a hand in creating or maintaining them, nor does it mean that their explanations of the gods are correct just because they all agree and are able to extend that agreement to each other via the consensus they create by their agreement on what the gods are like and what they expect from their adherents. Even when He does do something among them He makes it look like something else so that by their natural observations they assume to know what it is and presume to know what else is true. However, their observations can only hold true about the natural reality of which He isn't a part. So there is this conundrum that they aren't even aware of, though they have the words to say that it does exist, about which they claim to live their lives around, but cannot truly believe because they don't make sense in the natural reality, which is all they can understand.
The humans are so infatuated with their own inherent individual and collective (when the others are like them and agree with them) goodness that they would never even consider such a God who would let them be hoodwinked, even though that's what their bibles say God has consistently done. To this they may reply in agreement, but only with those who aren't the "good people," like them. It's the same for every group, whose gods are always disposed to the way the humans need them to be so they can feel that agreement that lets them feel that they are in control. The parable of the workers is about God doing whatever He wants, and that being naturally contrary to what the humans would do because of the need for justice disposed in favor of themselves and what they always expect Him to do. In the case of Jesus and the time and context of when he said it, it addressed how things were going to go, not like any of the humans assumed it would, by what their nature produced in them—that it would benefit them in some sort of natural way. The way it would go is explained next:
We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!
Then almost immediately, to back up the point that the kingdom isn't about or for the humans, nor is it based on human standards of fairness disposed toward their own selves, the disciples are arguing about who was going to be greatest—a totally animal thing to be doing according to the wild animal nature that drove them by the fear of being left out, being last—what they were still at that point being defined as by what was leading them to be predictability human.
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.
What addresses this desire for greatness was what Jesus, being the only one who knew that at the time, was trying to teach them about all along—what is important to the humans is not important to God. What must become important to the sons of God is finding the Father and His true family, which is the ultimate and only purpose for the sons of God in this natural creation that is naturally opposed to His purpose—the tiny sliver of humans He would pull from every generation to become His family of sons. So what becomes important for the sons is not what the humans naturally and instinctively do—love and protect themselves—but what Jesus was teaching them by his words and actions.
What Jesus did in the last and most important time of his life, that which was recorded and preserved for us to read, was a symbol of what the sons' lives are for—not to be consumed with their right to live their animal existence out like all the others, but instead to be consumed with what God is consumed with. The Father did not confer a natural kingdom of humans on the Son, but instead these 12 unlikely yet chosen men. His right as a king was not to Lord his position over them but was to be teaching them, taking care of them, feeding them, revealing the Father to them, being truly concerned about them being on the path that leads to the Father; washing their feet, laying down his life for their sake and all the other sons whom the Father has chosen to be His. At this point they were obviously still led by the animal nature according to the words. So the last division in the chapter is sort of the solution, by the metaphor of the two blind men who represent them because they hadn't received the ability to see the Father's way for their lives yet. They still had the animal mind, driven by the fear of being left out, worrying about being first.
Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. "Lord," they answered, "we want our sight." Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
That's the dilemma and process for all the sons of God who are called out from the world of the natural reality to become sons of God—not humans anymore—just as was the disciples' dilemma. It's why we can see them one way before and another way after, because before they were blind, but after the Teacher came they started to become able to see what they couldn't see before—the way of God instead of the way of the serpent, of the humans.
We're now in sort of a middle place. Though drifting slowly into the world where God's way is visible, perhaps even sometimes desirable, we are at the same time being pointed back to what we once took for granted, to look at and long for those things that once gave us our fulfillment. When the new way first came to us, we were more like spectators, excitedly watching the spectacle of the many miracles the Lord was doing to establish his presence. They were there to get our attention, to tell us to keep looking and watching. Although we oftentimes, because they were such awesome and powerful displays within us, tried to assign meaning, purpose and outcome to those things; these purposes of ours never came to be. The way of man, which was all we knew, is not the way of God. His ways are above our ways, meaning we cannot grasp what He is doing with us or what He will do. We cannot own it so that we're able to control or guide it, nor can we accelerate the process.
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.
When we observed some secret things that we knew came from God, we didn't grasp that they were there just to get our attention. We didn't know anything and weren't offered any course of direct action, which we wanted, looked for and often presumed. The only real course of action was just to receive the agreement that we heard which pulled us in a certain direction. That was difficult because it's opposite to how the animal works—always needing to be in control of its destiny, never trusting anyone but itself to purpose its way. What we didn't understand yet was that the animal nature—the old man, or sinful nature as Paul terms it—was still very much alive in us, although we couldn't comprehend or accept that because like the disciples the animal is 100% all we know at a certain point before the transformation begins. We assumed that because we heard the voice of the teacher pulling us in the direction of the Father, we we're automatically just zapped and changed.
We figured that since this thing was happening in us, then we must have been instantaneously transformed, then our earthly mind, the way of man took over and ascribed all sorts of outcomes, that which we wanted to happen; because our minds are evil, earthly, of the ground—of the serpent who rules the earth and ground. He gobbles up whatever dies and spits it back out as some other natural thing that will follow the same course as everything else natural. This is the same mind set that makes men think they must be called to be prophets or pastors, not for God's benefit but for their own, that they might receive some sort of ego kudos, what the animal intensely craves, for being "god's man." It's a perfectly natural course for the animal to take, so not actually the fault of the particular man, but merely the condition of his cursed reality, which is the condition of all men. However, speaking in the name of the living God and presuming to be able to teach is not the same as becoming a grocery store manager, which is how the position is treated in the churches, just another position anyone can attain to.
What it actually meant for us was that the seed of life had been planted in the field (our heart), which was overgrown with weeds (the way of man, of death). The field overgrown with weeds, or, the condition of all men, actually does contain all of the threats which the Lord spoke to in the field parable. The seed is the message about the kingdom of the spirit, the truth about the way of God beyond anything we ever thought we knew was truth. What the humans cannot understand is that the message about the kingdom of the spirit is secret and hidden to all men, and only available to those whom the Lord chooses to reveal it.
No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
There is the threat that the man will not understand it, as the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. Is this an act of a willful evil god, the fallen angel who lives to make men unaware of or else join him and the fallen angels turned demons, going against the good gods? The adversary of God, yes, but the perfect adversary because it was created by God for His purpose and remains undetected as it is man's very nature and everything that drives him and binds him to the natural creation. It is the thing God wanted man to have so that he wouldn't be able to reach out his hand and take from the tree of life. So it is from God for His purpose, and at the same times it is His enemy. However, it isn't the enemy of all men but only the sons who have been chosen to have the Father revealed to them as the 12 disciples of the Lord had the Father revealed to them by him, because it lives in their hearts as their prime adversary that keeps them away from finding their Father, and it is them and everything they've become as fully grown animals who are trained to protect the life they instinctively feel compelled to hold on to.
"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'"
The devil (the animal nature) lives in men's hearts, making them unclean—unable to be sons because its purpose, designed by God, is to keep men from knowing the truth about Him, so that not anyone could just "reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." That is, reach out and take what is reserved for His own sons; to understand the things of God, which would lead to knowing Him, and eventually having a relationship with Him as a son. But God doesn't want a relationship with every animal that pops out of a womb, whether it be rat, cow, alligator or human. That's yet another lie coming out of mystery Babylon, reinforced by all her whore daughters.
The Lord's purpose, on the other hand, is to reveal the truth about the Father to those who have been chosen to have eyes that can see their Father, and ears to hear, and a heart which can comprehend the heart of God, His desire and purpose—to have a family of sons who could grasp Him and how high is His love, hidden in the firstborn Son, Jesus.
The reason we may not understand the message about the kingdom of the spirit, the truth about the way of God beyond anything we ever thought we knew was truth, is because of the animal nature, the way of man which is opposite the way of God. Its purpose is so we won't understand, so it makes sense.The parable of the workers in the vineyard isn't about rewards, but how the way of God is not expected or discernable to man—His way is higher, and encapsulated by the phrase which explains the parable:
So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
We can see the truth of the animal if we open our new eyes and observe the residue of the nature of man still in us, which never chooses to be last. Even when we read the words the animal in us despises them, considers them merely metaphorical and never meant to actually apply to us. The nature of the animal is always to survive; there is no choice for him whether to obey that nature or not and we can understand that by considering the many unsuccessful attempts made in trying to deny that nature—either in ourselves or others. In this permanent mode he will never choose to be last, and even if he seems to, he is nevertheless acting to gain something, somewhere, somehow.
We should also be aware of just how present the animal still is inside us, that it hasn't just vanished because we have been chosen to be born of God. Actually the effects of it will become stronger in us because it doesn't want to die. Knowing how the animal nature works for our own particular lives, how it manipulates us in its various ways is an important thing in recognizing the truth about who we are now. It lives to make us serve it, even as we used to before we ever even knew it existed. It lives to keep us from knowing our Father, which is what it was designed to do for the vast majority of animals who would live and die without ever knowing Him.
We have to ride out the process of being transformed and remain faithful to the Teacher, if he lives in us. Praise be to Jesus, because by his work that which used to rule us is slowly being lifted away, and the new eyes of the son are starting to open so that we can recognize and know our new Father. Unlearning the old ways of the animal, the things we learned and used to survive, must continue for us to survive; and they will if we abide in the Lord. The goals we used to be driven by—running after the things the world loves—are being replaced by the one goal of the son: to find the love of his Father, which is the treasure and the only thing that can ever truly satisfy him. Then our goal is to live for the family, because that is the Father's treasure.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Because you are sons, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, "The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant."
My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.