Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 19:14-20:21

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Such ones - Matthew 19:14

The kingdom of heaven belongs to such ones. Jesus used children as a model for kingdom of heaven disciples because of their humility and trusting faith.

Perfect - Matthew 19:21

If you wish to be perfect. The word translated "perfect" should be understood in the sense of mature, complete, or whole. It is the same word used in the Sermon on the Mount to describe the heart of the true disciple, the ones who are like their heavenly Father (Matt. 5:48). The man who came to Jesus in this story was genuinely righteous in his behavior but he lacked the greater righteousness required to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20) — right behavior that comes from a heart/inner person that loves God and others (Matt. 22:37-40). This man loved his possessions more than God and so lacked the whole or complete righteousness he required.

A rich man – Matthew 19:23

It is Hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was not here condemning wealth in and of itself, which is often a sign of diligence, wisdom, and blessing. Rather, Jesus was pointing out the dangerous effect that wealth can have on one's heart, distorting loves away from God and therefore preventing people from entering his kingdom.

The Son of Man on his throne – Matthew 19:28

In the new age when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne. Jesus (the Son of Man) was speaking of the future time when the kingdom of heaven will come fully to Earth and he will reign as ruler under God the Father (Matt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:21-28). This time of a new age can also be called the New Heavens and Earth or the New Creation (Rev. 21:1–22:21).

First and last – Matthew 19:30

Many who are first will be last. The new age or kingdom of heaven that Jesus is bringing will be a time of great reversal, where the humble, lowly, and faithful persecuted will be exalted and restored.

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard - Matthew 20:1-16

Unlike many of his other parables, Jesus did not provide an interpretation for this intriguing story. As a result, there have been many different interpretations throughout the Church's history. The overall point of this story is that God is gracious and has the right to reward people as he wills and that people should not be resentful or envious when other people are blessed.

Envy – Matthew 20:15

Are you envious? The Greek phrase here says, "is your eye evil?" The evil eye is an image of envy and jealousy of others' good fortune. This way of being in the world is the opposite of what Jesus was teaching. Jesus also used the language of the "evil eye" in the Sermon on the Mount in 6:23 when speaking about not loving money more than God (Matt. 6:19-34).

Jesus Predicts His Suffering, Death and Resurrection - Matthew 20:17-19

This was the third and final time Jesus predicts his own future suffering and death (Matt. 16:21; 17:22). The first time, Peter tried to oppose Jesus (Matt. 16:22-23). The second time, the disciples were distressed (Matt. 17:23). The third time, they said nothing. This prediction comes right before the last section of Jesus' ministry — his last week in Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1–28:15).

Sit at your right hand and left hand - Matthew 20:21

One at your right hand and one at your left in your kingdom. The image of right hand and left is with Jesus sitting on a throne with his closest advisors and confidants right next to him on either side. The idea of reigning with Jesus came from Jesus' comment about the disciples sitting on twelve thrones in 19:28. The problem is that the disciples were seeking it for themselves, when they needed to trust God to appoint them to their places without being envious of others (Matt. 20:1-16).

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