The First shall be Last and the Last First

What the correspondent wrote is printed in red.

Dear R,

It is always good to hear from you.

At 05:50 PM 11/10/99 -0700, you wrote:

How are you doing?

I am doing all right, apart from suffering a bit with the shingles.

Really enjoy your articles and the help you have given me in past.

How's the weather in Canada?

Great, no snow and not too cold.

I was wondering if you have any information or articles on this verse Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last:  for many be called, but few chosen. Not clear on the first part of verse could you shed some light?

Somebody else ask me the same a week or so ago.

I will make a few comments.

"The first shall be last," is a principle that is seen all through the Bible. Gen 1:1 the first creation in Adam,  the last in Christ 2 Cor. 5:17  The last is now the first.  The first man, Adam, and the last Adam. The last is now first, and the first is last. 1 Cor. 15:44...  Cain the firstborn, but Abel the last, becomes first.  Ishmael--Isaac, Esau--Jacob

The portion Matt 20:16, evidently refers to the Jews who were first, but are now last. Rom 1:16. It goes back to V.30 of the previous chapter. The word "first" means "chief" and could refer to the fathers of Israel or the present leaders. They will be last in the kingdom.  The last, the word means "lowest" shall be first. Referring to the twelve who will sit on twelve thrones. 19:28.  It could also mean that the Jews who are first will become last in the kingdom and the Gentiles (the Church,) will be first.  This is clearly the case in Luke 13: 29...  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

The many that were called, at that time, would be the 500 plus that saw Him in His resurrection, but the few that were chosen were the twelve apostles and some others. So it is the same today.  Many called and saved, but a few chosen servants

However, in Matt 20:16 it seems to be that the last labourers sharing alike in rewards.

Hope this helps.


All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated Jan 17th 2014 by Harold Smith