The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 98 of 210
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Christ had already warned that it was impossible to serve God and mammon (riches)
at the same time (6: 24), and this warning was never more needed than today, when the
principal aim of the average life appears to get more and more money, which never
brings complete satisfaction, no matter how much is acquired. It is a delusion that
controls and enslaves millions.
There is no need to interpret the "camel" and the "needle's eye" other than literally.
In order to emphasize His point, the Lord Jesus is contrasting the largest beast of burden
in Palestine with the smallest aperture known at that time. The explanation that the eye
of the needle represents a small door in a city gate is a guess, and no ancient expositor
ever adopts this method of explanation. The love of money grips the human mind like a
vice, but God can break it, for with Him all things are possible (19: 26), and He had done
it in Matthew's case and also in that of Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 1-10).
After the Lord's dealing with the young man and His statement as to what he must
give up (his riches), Peter naturally thinks that he and the other disciples had made
sacrifices for the Lord. How would they fare? (Matt. 19: 27). The Lord gives His
tremendous reply in verses 28, 29 which we have already quoted.
It is obvious from this that no one who voluntarily gives things up for Christ's sake
will finally lose. God will not be a debtor to anyone and all such will be gloriously
rewarded. This is true for all time, and those who attempt to eliminate reward from
God's dealing with His children, either earthly or heavenly, are going against Scripture
and the righteousness of God, for it is the righteous Judge Who awards the crown at the
end (II Tim. 4: 8), and we are wise if we do not forget this.
19: 30 - 21: 17.
pp. 66 - 70
The Parable of the workers in the Vineyard.
This parable is linked with the last verse of the previous chapter. It commences with
the word "for". The last verse reads:
"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. For the
kingdom of heaven is like . . . . ." (Matt. 19: 30 and 20: 1, N.I.V.).
This last verse is somewhat enigmatic and needs the parable to explain it. If we judge
by ordinary human standards a number of difficulties may appear.  The parable is
contained in verses 1-16 and the reader should carefully study them.  Workers are
engaged at different times during the day, early in the morning and again at the 6th, 9th
and 11th hour. The actual amount to be paid for the day's work was made with the first
ones only, namely a denarius (verse 2) which was the common wage for a day labourer at