Week 40: The First Shall Be Last

by Sophie Bolton

The passages of Isaiah this week contain many prophecies against powerful nations, predicting their downfall. Likewise, in the passages in Matthew, Jesus talks in number of ways about how the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

When talking to the little children, Jesus tells the listening disciples that we should all become like children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Children are not powerful, knowledgeable or able in many ways, but Jesus says we should become like them. Just like children with their parents, we should depend entirely on God as our Father, and trust Him as a child would trust their parent.

Secondly, Jesus challenges society’s views of who is the most powerful. The rich man is told that, to inherit the Kingdom of God, he must give away his wealth, his means for power and influence, and become dependent and vulnerable.

Finally, in these passages in Matthew, Jesus starts to turn his attitude towards his death. Jesus did not come to this earth to be served, but to serve us and give his life so that we can be saved. Jesus, who is Lord of Lords, humbled himself to death on a cross and is now glorified at the right hand of the Father.

Some questions for you to ponder:

  1. The city of Damascus in Isaiah 17 had forgotten their God, their Saviour. Is there an area of your life where you have forgotten God’s sovereignty and have taken matters into your own hands?
  2. Are you easily drawn into conversations about ‘Who is the greatest?’ (Matthew 18: 1) and comparing yourself to others? Do you need to hear the challenge that those who are least in worldly terms will be first in the Kingdom of God?
  3. Jesus told his disciples that he would die and be raised again three times before his death, but still they forgot and lost faith when the time came. Spend some time praying that you would not forget God’s promises to you when you face times of trial.