Matthew 20

This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.

In verses 1-16 Jesus illustrates and explains his statement in 19:29-30, that all who follow him will receive equal blessing in his coming kingdom, regardless of how long they followed him (“many who are first will be last, and the last first,” 19:30; 20:16).

For a third time (16:21; 17:22-23) Matthew records Jesus’ declaration that upon arriving in Jerusalem he will be betrayed, condemned to death, crucified, and resurrected (vv. 17-19). Jewish readers thus heard from Israel’s Messiah and King himself that such was absolutely necessary.

Earlier Peter wondered what he and other disciples would have in the coming kingdom (19:27). The mother of James and John, sons of Zebedee then asked that they would hold significant positions (vv. 20-21). Jesus said that while they would experience what he was about to, positions in the kingdom would be allotted by the Father (vv. 22-23). Jesus informed all the disciples that they should not be like unbelievers who strive for position and authority; they should rather be like him and serve others (vv. 24-28).

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. The world prioritizes power, position, prestige, money, and the like, but the Lord prioritizes genuine faith, faithfulness, perseverance, and loving service. The world’s priorities are self-pleasing and limited to this life, whereas the Lord’s priorities please Christ and have eternal ramifications. What is important to you?
  2. Jesus knew that great suffering was coming yet he faithfully, intentionally, and steadily marched toward it. Thank and praise the Lord Jesus for this! Because he did so sinners can be saved! Tell others about this!