The phrase “first will be last and the last, first” can be found in three major passages of the Bible: Matt. 19:30, Mark 10:31 and Luke 13:30. Both Matt. 19:30 and Mark 10;31 are about the same parable. There are only two different events
The first time the phrase “first will be last and the last will be first” occurs in scripture is in Matt. 19:29-30. It introduces a parable which begins and ends with this phrase. Jesus had just told the disciples that a person could not buy his/her way into heaven (Matt. 19:23-26). The Jews believed that wealthy people could gain God’s favor, righteousness, by giving money (alms). This was a surprise to Peter. Here is Peter’s response: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Peter is in essence asking, “Then how can I get in if even the wealthy cannot?” So Jesus explains using a parable about a vineyard owner who hires some laborers in the morning to work his vineyard. Throughout the day he continues hiring others to work the vineyard. Finally, he repeats the statement “first will last and the last will be first” as an explanation
Jesus concern is this: we are not to place ourselves above others because of our time spent serving Him. To Jesus; it doesn’t matter if you have been serving Him for 50 years and a new convert for only 5 years. In heaven we all will be equal in the Lord
Inspired by Neverthirsty.org and Laraine Turner
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