The first and last (Lk 13:30-13:30)

“Indeed,

Some who are last

Will be first.

Some who are first

Will be last.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι οἳ ἔσονται πρῶτοι, καὶ εἰσὶν πρῶτοι οἳ ἔσονται ἔσχατοι

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that some who are last now will be first (καὶ ἰδοὺ εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι οἳ ἔσονται πρῶτοι).  At the same time, some who are first now will be last (καὶ εἰσὶν πρῶτοι οἳ ἔσονται ἔσχατοι).  This eschatological saying about the reversal of order can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:30, and Mark, chapter 10:31, almost word for word.  This same saying was also repeated in Matthew, chapter 20:16, about day laborers.  This renewal at the end times, would reverse the earthly hierarchy.  Mark and Matthew said that this would happen to many people, while Luke said that only some people would be involved.  Mark indicated that many people who are now first would be last (πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people last now would be first (καὶ οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  Matthew also said that many people (Πολλοὶ) who are now first would be last (Πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people now last would be first (καὶ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  This is a saying often used to remind people that things will not always be the same as they are today.  Will you be first or last?

The first and the last (Mk 10:31-10:31)

But many who are first

Will be last.

The last

Will be first.”

 

πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι καὶ οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι.

 

This eschatological saying about the reversal of order can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:30, and Luke, chapter 13:30, almost word for word.  This same saying will be repeated by Matthew in chapter 20:16 about day laborers.  This renewal at the end times, would reverse the earthly hierarchy.  Mark and Matthew say that this will happen to many people, while Luke said only some people.  Here many people who are now first will be last (πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people last now will be first (καὶ οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  This is a saying often used to remind people that things will not always be the same as they are today.

The first son (Mt 21:28-21:29)

“What do you think?

A man had two sons.

He went to the first one.

He said.

‘Son!

Go!

Work

In the vineyard today.’

He answered.

‘I will not!’

But later

He changed his mind.

He went out to work.”

 

Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο· προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι.

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew and is reminiscent of the parable of the day laborers in the vineyard in chapter 20:1-16.  Jesus was still talking with the chief priests and elders.  Jesus continued with another parable by asking them what did they think (Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ)?  In this parable story, a man had two sons (ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο).  He went to the first one (προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ).  He told this first son to go and work in his vineyard that day (εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι).  However, this first son answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was not going to go out into the vineyard to work (Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν).  Interesting enough, most of the Greek manuscript texts do not have the last phrase that this son changed his mind.  However, the explanations assume this verse that the first son later or afterwards changed his mind and went out to work in the vineyard (ὕστερον δὲ μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν).

The simple explanation of the parable (Mt 20:16-20:16)

“Thus,

The last will be first.

The first will be last.”

 

Οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι.

 

This simple explanation of the parable of the day laborers is unique to Matthew.  Thus, the last ones will be the first ones (Οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) and the first ones will be the last ones (καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι).  There are no special places in the kingdom of heaven.  There will be a role reversal.  Those who think that they were first here on earth will be the opposite in the kingdom of heaven.  The last will be the first.  This long parable was nothing more than a repeat of the same saying that was earlier in chapter 19:30 with similar statements in Mark, chapter 10:31 and Luke, chapter 13:30.  Thus, a change in status was part of the kingdom of heaven.

The first laborers hired (Mt 20:2-20:2)

“He agreed

With the laborers

For the usual daily wage.

He sent them

Into his vineyard.”

 

συμφωνήσας δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with his parable.  This land owner hired the first group of day laborers.  They came to a mutual understanding.  This land owner agreed and the day laborers also agreed to accept one denarius as payment for that day, the usual or common wage for a day’s work (συμφωνήσας δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν).  This Roman silver coin was worth about $.15 USA.  They would work all day for about 15 cents.  Then he sent them into his vineyard to pick the grapes (ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ).  So far, so good, nothing unusual here.  A land owner and some workers agreed on a day’s pay that was not extravagant, without any middle man.

Hire people (Mt 20:1-20:1)

“The kingdom of heaven is

Like a landowner

Who went out

Early in the morning

To hire laborers

For his vineyard.”

 

Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ, ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρωῒ μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, explained that the kingdom of heaven was like (Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν) a wealthy vineyard owner, the man who owned and was in charge of his land (ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ).  He needed his grapes picked at the harvest time.  He would hire day laborers or daily workers to do this difficult work.  He went out early in the morning (ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρω), probably around 6 AM.  He wanted to hire some daily grape picker field laborers (μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας) to work on his land in his vineyard (εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ).  This vineyard would have been a symbol of the prophets working in the vineyard of Israel.

The first and the last (Mt 19:30-19:30)

“But many

Who are first

Will be last.

The last

Will be first.”

 

Πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι καὶ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι.

 

This eschatological saying about the reversal of order can be found in Mark, chapter 10:31, word for word, and Luke, chapter 13:30, but slightly different.  This same saying will be repeated by Matthew in chapter 20:16 about day laborers.  This renewal at the end times, would reverse the earthly hierarchy.  Mark and Matthew say that this will happen to many people, while Luke said only some people.  Here many people (Πολλοὶ) who are now first will be last (Πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people last now will be first (καὶ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  This is a saying often used to remind people that things will not always be the same as they are today.