Matthew 20

October 20th  

Jesus’ upside down world

Matthew 20

Unfortunately the values and priorities of the world we live in have gradually changed and become very different from the ones God created and intended for us.

He tells the story in today’s Bible reading of the workers in the Vineyard. The man in charge goes out to the market several times during the day, from early in the morning to 5 o’clock in the afternoon, each time hiring more workers for the vineyard, for an agreed pay, presumably to pick grapes. At the end of day the owner of the vineyard paid them all the same, whether they had worked for an hour or for a whole day. Our worldly rules (and the workers who started first) said that this was unfair – those who worked longer should be paid more. Jesus’ rules (and the vineyard owner) said this was fine – all were paid as had been agreed when they started. Moreover, no-one should compare what they have with what others have. The truth is that we all have more than we deserve and should be thankful for what we do have. There will always be some who have more than us and many who have less. We should be more concerned to give to those who have less, than to take from those who have more.

Jesus summarised this by saying “So it is. Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.” – our worldly values turned upside down.

The mother of James and John came and begged Jesus, when he came into his kingdom, to let one of her sons sit at his right side and the other at his left. She wanted them to be important and admired. Jesus’s response was quite the opposite! In the world, great leaders have full power over everyone they rule but Jesus explains that if we want to be great, we must be a servant of all the others. If we want to be first, we must be the slave of the rest.


Jesus is the ultimate example. Though he is the Son of God, he didn’t come to be a King or a slave master, but a servant who would ultimately give his very life to rescue his people.

Then finally we have two blind men who in the normal world would stay blind for evermore but in Jesus’ world, because they asked him and because he felt sorry for them, were healed. From then on they could see and they followed him – their lives were no doubt turned upside down from that point onwards.


Please help us to let go of the wrong values and priorities of this world. Help us to see life through your eyes and not be blinded by the world, help us to put others first and ourselves last, to give rather than take, to be servants rather than masters. Please turn our lives the right way up.

Thank you so much


What are your values and priorities? What are your key aims in life? Do they align with the desires of the world or of Jesus?


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