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THE PARABLE OF THE LABORERS HIRED TO WORK IN THE FIELD.

    The Government
of God

Matthew 20:1. For the kingdom of heaven is like  a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers to work in his vineyard. 2. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4. And said to them; You go also into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said to them, Why are you standing  here all the day idle? 7. They say to him, Because no man has hired us. He said to them, You go also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall you receive. 8. So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard said to his foreman, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first. 9. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11. And when they had received it, they murmured against the good man of the house, 12. Saying, These last have worked but one hour, and you have made them equal to us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I'm not doing you any wrong: didn't you agree with me for a penny? 14. Take what is yours , and go your way: I will give to this last, the same as you. 15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is your eye evil, because I am good? 16. So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

 

     The parable of the servants hired to work in the field is unique to the Gospel of Matthew. It is intimately tied to Peters question recorded in Mathew, Mark, and Luke in response to what Jesus said about a rich young ruler who would not forsake his wealth to follow Jesus. Peter asked: Matthew 19:27....Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you; what shall we have therefore? Jesus answered: Mark 10:29.....Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

     Keep in mind what this parable is about. The kingdom or government of God that was prophesied to come to the earth throughout the Bible. This is verified in Matthews account of Jesus's answer to Peters question: Matthew 19: 27....Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred times, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. So, in verse 28, using allot of illustrative language, we have a direct reference the government of God that was to come. Then in verse 29 we have a very condensed account of all the earthly promises of God made to all the saints in times past coming to pass in the world when this kingdom arrives. Outside of common sense the way one can know these are earthly promises is because the heavenly promise of eternal life is in addition to them at the end of the sentence. Here is a small sampling of those earthly promises made to saints of times past that did not come to pass in their generations. It is the last verse in both accounts that the parable in question is going to explain: That many of the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

     Before this gets into the direct interpretation of Mark 10:31 and Matt. 19:30 through the parable itself and it's interpretation. It would be good to look into what Jesus is doing with this. Number one: He is affirming that all the  promises of God are; in him, yes and amen. (2nd Corinthians 1:20.) Meaning: It is the will of God that those who are in Christ posses all of his promises made in times past and present. Especially as it pertains to the Government of God prophesied to fill the earth. Along with that affirmation of scripture he is then going to explain how this will all work.  He is about to temper their hopes and faith with reality. A very hard reality at that. On now to the parables explanation before going back to the word the parable is explaining.

   The vineyard is the world. The landowner is Jesus. The payment, the penny, is the promise of eternal life in heaven. The laborers that are hired are those who spread the Word of God. The burden and the heat of the day are the persecutions visited on them.  The pioneers who bring the Word first to a nation or people that do not have it suffer the most. Now; as long as nothing is short circuiting the process. As time goes by the sufferings of those who bring that Word tend to lighten some as truth and the Gospel become accepted. In the end, and this is the process that can be seen all over the world and in history. Gods Word, the principles in his Word  regarding right and wrong, through the Gospel and Christians can become the accepted standard with  which a nation or culture lives and governs itself by. When a nation governs itself by the principles of the Word of God regarding right and wrong, human relationships and human government. Then;  and as a matter of fact. It is the only way that the promises of God in their fullness can come to pass in the lives of his people, and those who share a geographical area with them. This is precisely what has come to pass in the western world to some degree or another where nations have had the Word of God for centuries. It is the why behind something that had never happened in the history of mankind but has happened in many nations of the world since the Roman Empire fell in 1453 AD.  (Outside of ancient Israel.) Not that any people is superior to any other but because Gods Word changed a people, both the believers and unbelievers. That was what enabled them to do what none had ever done before them. It is good to temper this scenario though with the reality that the wicked never sleep in their efforts to rule the world because of their covetousness regarding the wealth others create. Persecutions never really cease for the true believer. A nation founded in Biblical principle will never cease to be a target by the wicked within and without its borders. Therefore the labor in the field of the Lord never ceases. It is just that in those periods where the mountain of God in a nation becomes the highest mountain amongst other mountains. Meaning the greatest influence amongst other ungodly influences. That those believers in that time period will rarely experience the intensity of persecution that the pioneers experienced. They will more than likely not sacrifice their lives or fortunes as those who went before them did. However to maintain what those who went before them gave them they will have to work and suffer. Not to speak of the fact that there has so far always been other places where the Gospel has not been to go to start this whole process in.

     Lets look at this historical data in light of this word about the first being last and the last first. What opportunity do the last have that the vast majority of the first do not have? The answer to that is access to the promises of God because of the Government of Gods influence amongst believer and unbeliever in a geographical area. For instance. When a nation and its government accept as fact that all men are created equal and have a divine right to pursue life liberty and happiness. When the rule of law revolves around the things that secure those rights and Christian based morality is exalted. Then the prospect to possess all the earthly promises of God exists, as an opportunity. One that did not exist under the kings and emperors of the ancient world.  So looking at this fact of life, this earthly fruit of the Gospel if allowed to run its full course in a nation. One can see that as far as the promises of God are concerned the last in order are actually the first to possess what was promised. At least in its fullness. So in that sense the last really are first. The first in order being the last is just the opposite. They usually do not have the opportunity to partake of the earthly promises of God. That is the complaint of those who are hired first. They bore the brunt of the persecution and labored under harsher conditions than the last. Yet those who's persecution is light and labor not that harsh receive the same reward the end. Eternal life. The good man of the house answers this by saying you agreed with me for the wages that I offered you. It was more than a reasonable and fair wage. If I choose to pay these the same because I am good, what is that to you?

       The final thing that might need addressed in this article is the short circuiting of this process that occurred during the reign of the Roman Empire over the saints. The capitol of the empire was moved to the city of Constantinople in 333AD. There never ceased to be an emperor on the throne in Constantinople until 1453 AD when he was killed and the city fell to the Ottoman Turks. However it was not just this empire that made war against and overcame the saints during those 1400 years. Everywhere there was a kingdom or empire with modern armies this process suffered the same short circuiting. This was however no surprise to the prophetic scriptures because they told it beforehand. They even provided the length of the time measured by this empire that the process would be stopped. From the time of its first emperor to its end in 1453 AD. If you are curious as to that statement about the time period you can find its verification in this article. End Times Prophecy.  What is really amazing though is how this was all turned around so that Gospel was able to run its full course in Northern Europe and North America. It was so simple that it was unbelievably profound. A lack of written materials with which to convey the Word of God to individuals was the vehicle that enabled these empires to suppress the truth that was to literally set the world free. In 1453 AD, the exact year the Roman Empire came to an end. The first commercial printing press came on line in Europe. The first book printed? A set of Bibles. Within a decade printed materials and books went from the thousands being manufactured by hand in Europe to millions. Common people in Northern Europe would be the first recipients in mass of illegal Bibles and teachings in their own languages. The powers that existed to suppress this from happening did not act quick enough to stop this. As had happened many times in the past Armies were sent to Northern Europe to eliminate those infected with the truth. For the first time in history though outside of ancient Israel; those armies were defeated by the peoples who had the Word of God. For the most part this has been the story ever since. (That is also prophesied concerning this age.) This shows the pathway to further change in the world for the better. Basically, Bibles in the hands of everyone that wants one. I would ask you to pray and consider what the information age means to this process and the rest of the world that has had little of the Gospel. My faith based on Gods Word and history is that it will have as a profound effect in the nations that are trying to prevent the growth of the Government of God in them as the printing press had on the world thus far.

      Isaiah 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the terrible one is brought to nothing, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: 21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nothing. 22 Therefore thus said the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. 23 But when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in the middle of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. 24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

© Daniel Martinovich 2014