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Lesson 28
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Lesson 28

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Landowner, Laborers, and Wages (20:1-16)

Third Prediction about Suffering, Death, and Resurrection (20:17-19)

Being Great and Being Servant (20:20-28)

Healing the Two Blind Men (20:29-34)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Kingdom of heaven, whatever is right, last, first, many called, few chosen, cup, baptism, servant/slave, Son of David, compassion, touched, followed.

II.    Segment Analysis

1. Many who are first will be last, and the last first.

2a. Either the new believers in Christ, who have done comparatively less, or the repentant sinners, who receive God’s grace and forgiveness in “the eleventh hour” and therefore labor much less for the kingdom of God. By their humble acceptance of and trust in God’s grace, they become first in the kingdom (in vs 4 and 7 we see that these laborers trusted that the landowner would do for them whatever was right).

2b. These are the ones who seem to have preeminence in the religious community, be they leaders or early converts. They have worked much for God, but because they have exalted themselves to be the first and took God’s grace for granted (they were once unemployed but now hired by the landowner), they become the least in God’s eyes. Some even reject the kingdom because of their pride in being the first.

3. Common sense tells us that whoever works less should be paid less.

4a. It represents the grace of God. Although in the parable the laborers seemed to have earned the wages, the fact that everyone received the same amount tells us that the wages were not earned. These unemployed laborers were promised the wages simply for agreeing to work in the vineyard, regardless of how much effort they would put in.

4b. We cannot claim any merit in our salvation, even if we work hard for the Lord, because we have received it as a free gift (Eph 2:8,9; Rom 3:27,28; Tit 3:4,5). From this parable, we learn the abounding grace of God. He does not show favoritism in the giving of grace (Acts 10:34). But this is not to suggest that it makes no difference how diligent we work for God, for the Bible teaches that everyone will be rewarded according to his labor (1Cor 3:8; 15:58).

5. The parable is not teaching that everyone will have the same reward, but that we are all saved by God’s grace. Even the rewards that we will receive for our labor are made possible because of God’s grace.

6. This final prediction is the longest and most detailed. It speaks of the trial by the Sanhedrin and the handing over to the Roman authorities. It also describes the kinds of suffering the Lord would endure.

7. To the disciples. The prediction served to teach them the mission of the Messiah and to prepare the disciples so that they might remember and believe when all these things have taken place (cf. Jn 14:29;16:4). But the disciples did not fully comprehend the meaning of the prediction even after the resurrection.

8a. To share in the glory and power of Christ and be the greatest in God’s kingdom.

8b. She did not know that one must suffer in order to receive glory (Rom 8:17; 2Tim 2:12). She did not know that we must humbly receive God’s grace according to His sovereign will (23). She did not know that being great means being slaves to others and laying down one’s life for others (26-28).

9. The rest of the disciples were indignant because they also wanted to be great and did not want to “lose out” on being the greatest.

10a. The Old Testament Scripture uses the “cup” to refer to the judgment of God (Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17,18; Jer 25:15-28). The Lord Jesus Himself called His suffering and death “this cup” because God was about to pour out His wrath on the sacrificial Lamb (Mt 26:39).

10b. We must deny ourselves, take up His cross and follow Him (cf 16:24-25;  Lesson 24, Question 13). We must humble ourselves (Php 2:5-8), deny our desires, suffer for the Lord (1Pet 4:1-2; Gal 5:24), and sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others (1Jn 3:16).

11a. It involves taking away our pride and wishes, and humbly doing what it takes to meet the needs of others. By right, Jesus could demand service from us because He is the King. But He chose to be a servant and even gave His life for us in the way that a slave would die for His master. His selfless sacrifice compels us to do the same for our brothers.

12. Although they were blind, they knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of David. Their persistence and crying out despite the crowd’s rebuke showed their great faith. They humbly asked for mercy. They followed the Lord after they received sight.

13a. Despite the important mission ahead of Him, He was willing to stop and care for the needs of two people whom others scorned. This was an act of great compassion (34). He said, “What do you want me to do for you?” These are the words of a servant ready to serve his master. Then He touched their eyes, showing that He cared enough to do something for them, even though He could have simply healed them with a word.

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