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Saturday, March 19 2016
Matthew 20: The Labourers Of His Vineyard
"For the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard"
Daylight timekeeping in Bible history was based upon the time between actual sunrise and sunset. Workdays, particularly during harvest time, generally ran from sunrise to sunset. "Hours" of the day referred to daylight hours i.e. "11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world." (John 11:9 KJV). Sundials, which only function in the daylight, were used to measure hours. The only "watches" used were approximated periods of time during the night e.g. "14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea" (Matthew 14:25 KJV). Hence, "the third hour" of daylight was equivalent to mid-morning, about 9:00 a.m. The "sixth hour" was equivalent to 12:00 noon. The "ninth hour" was equivalent to mid-afternoon, about 3:00 p.m. The "eleventh hour" is about an hour before the end of the "day," sunset.
There are people who have lived a genuine, converted Christian life right from the time that they were little children. They read and studied the Word of God and have always worked hard to live according to it, faithfully and steadfastly.
On the other hand, there are people who have lived very unChristian lives, some until they were young adults, some until they were middle aged, some even until they were in old age, but who did eventually repent and become good Christians too. By the time that they die, they may have only lived according to the Word of God for the last half, or the last quarter, or even the last year of their lives. But they too will receive the same salvation as the others. That's the lesson of the parable.
The parable does not mean that people can deliberately put off repentance until later in life. The different times of the parable represent the time when those who begin to know better must do better (see the Fact Finder question below). Some people learn the Truth early, some people learn it later, but whenever it's heard that is when the choice must be made.
With that in mind, the parable of the workers in the vineyard (see The Meaning Of Parables).
"20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
The Messiah lived His life with the full knowledge that He would die a violent death at the hands of self-righteous people (see Iniquity In History And Prophecy and Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?). Ironically, what humanity did to Him will provide the cure for their wanting to kill Him (see The Cure For Confusion).
"20:17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 20:18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." (Matthew 20:17-19 KJV)
Some of the most well-known prophets and apostles of the Holy Scriptures were physical relatives of the Messiah - John the Baptist was His cousin (see The Mothers Of The Two Greatest Prophets), as were the apostles James and John. The coming Kingdom of God isn't about physical favoritism however, as Jesus' aunt, the mother of James and John (see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth), was given to understand.
"20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
So too, the cure for spiritual blindness is coming (see Paul's Blindness Lesson).
"20:29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
Fact Finder: What other lessons of the Messiah involved a vineyard?
This Day In History, March 19
721 BC: The first lunar eclipse recorded in non-Biblical history; seen in Babylon (see also When Do Eclipses Happen On The Christian Holy Days?).
1452: Frederick III (Hapsburg) was coronated Holy Roman emperor by Pope Nicholas V (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes). He was crowned with the crown of Charlemagne and married to Leonora in the same ceremony.
1563: In France, the Peace of Amboise brought the First War of Religion to an end. The Huguenots were granted a limited amount of religious freedom.
1687: French explorer Robert Cavelier (La Salle) was murdered by his own men while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River.
1702: Upon the death of William III of Orange, Anne Stuart, sister of Mary, succeeded to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1861: The Maori insurrection in New Zealand ended.
1885: Louis Riel declared a Provisional Government in Saskatchewan, beginning the North-West Rebellion.
1930: Arthur James Balfour died at age 82. The British statesman maintained a position of power in the British Conservative party for 50 years, was Prime Minister 1902-1905, Foreign Secretary 1916-1919, was perhaps best known for his First World War statement (the Balfour Declaration) which expressed official British approval of "Zionism" (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1931: Gambling was legalized in Nevada, paving the way for it to become a major industry in the state.
1932: Australia's Sydney Harbor Bridge was officially opened.
1943: Chicago gangster Frank Nitti (a close associate of Al Capone), committed suicide at the Chicago Central Railyard.
1945: At the end of the Second World War, as Allied forces were invading Germany, Adolf Hitler issued his "Nero Decree" that ordered the destruction of all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany. Most of his defeated army refused to carry out the order of the "Leader" (see Why Does Satan Love Liars? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion; also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
1969: The 385 meter / 1,263 foot TV-mast at Emley Moor, United Kingdom, collapsed due to a rare ice build-up.
1982: An Argentine scrap metal dealer landed on South Georgia and planted an Argentinian flag. The situation escalated and eventually led to the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.
1987: U.S. "Televangelist" Jim Bakker resigned as head of the PTL Club due to sex scandal; control of the "ministry" was delegated to Jerry Falwell.
1989: The Egyptian Flag was raised on Taba, Egypt proclaiming the end of the Israeli occupation after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the peace negotiations in 1979.
2002: Zimbabwe was suspended from membership in the Commonwealth amidst charges of human rights abuses and electoral fraud.
2003: George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq to supposedly seize Iraq's nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" and in proclaimed retaliation for Iraq's nonexistent connection to the 9-11 terrorist attacks (all of the 9-11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - none were from Iraq). Over one million non-combatant Iraqi men, women and children were killed or maimed, and Iraq was reduced to rubble, as a result of Bush's proven-false accusations.