Come Follow Me LDS- May 13-19 Part 2: Matt 19-20, Mark 10, Luke 18

‘First – Last, Last – First. Alpha & Omega’

– Mirror realities in Heaven and Earth

– This is about covenant, not just position and the Gentiles

– Christ is the ‘Alpha & Omega”

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Raw Transcript

 

“What Lack I Yet?” Part 2

 

in this episode we’ll cover the first

she’ll be last and the last shall be

first what does it mean here we go

so here in episode 2 we’re going to

continue with Matthew 19 as you recall

in the last episode we ended with the

story of the young rich man who did not

want to give away his riches though he

was willing to follow all of the law of

Moses and the lower law and Jesus talked

about how we should be putting our trust

in things that are spiritual and in

things that are like him and not in

material goods and then as he goes over

how it will be easier for a camel to go

through a needle or the eye of a needle

than it is for a rich person to get to

heaven basically then everyone is

shocked about this and thinking well how

is it that we’re going to be able to get

there then again they’re very

materialistic and what is meant by that

at that time is that the fruits of

living a lower law they not only make

you materialistic but they make it so

that you align that materialism with

your spiritual future and so that as you

reduce things that are spiritual then

what fills that gap or you’re still

looking forward to a reward if you will

in heaven or a of growth you’ve replaced

that spirituality and those spiritual

principles with materialism and with a

lower law and so Peter says well we’ve

done all of these things and so what

will our reward be and he talks about

how they are going to be judges in

Israel they will judge the twelve tribes

of Israel and then he follows up with

this he says and every one that hath

forsaken houses or brethren or sisters

or father or mother or wife or children

or lands for my name’s sake shall

receive an hundredfold and shall inherit

everlasting life again what is happening

here he is talking about those that are

poor in spirit or that have had to

sacrifice greatly that their reward will

be great in heaven again it’s that

mirrored reality

those that are at the bottom here in

those kinds of conditions will be at the

top in heaven and those that have Sack

been willing to sacrifice things here on

earth we sacrifice carnal things

material things lower law things will

have a greater reward in heaven and that

leads him right into what we ended up

with last episode and that is the final

verse in chapter 19 which is verse 30

which says but many that are first shall

be last and the last shall be first this

is a very interesting phrase and it is a

concept that is underpinning the entire

gospel it is a primary focus of the

doctrine of the gospel and he goes

through a few parables here to try and

explain this and to give examples of it

when we’re done with the parables I’m

gonna go over a little bit more about

what my thoughts are on what this means

because I think it really goes to the

core of the doctrine of the gospel so if

we go over to chapter 20 Jesus gives us

the parable of the laborers in the

vineyard and this is basically how

this goes the lord of the vineyard makes

a deal with several laborers and

says look I’m going to pay you a penny a

day for today to come and work in my

vineyard penny is equal to the Grove

Denarius which is basically a one day

wage one full day’s wage and they agree

to this and the laborers come and they

start working and this would be the very

beginning of the day so this is the

beginning of the day would start at 6:00

a.m. and then he comes back it says at

the third hour and he found many others

standing idle in the marketplace that

would basically mean that they’re

unemployed for the day so he comes in

and he gets more laborers offers them

that he’s going to pay them not a penny

a day but a right amount or a just

amount for them and so they come and

they work they would be hoping that they

would get paid

a portion at least of proportionally

that were the work that they’re going to

put in for the day and then he goes back

again in the sixth and the ninth hour

and tells them the same thing he doesn’t

tell them he’s going to pay them a penny

a day he tells them I’m going to pay you

what is right and so they come and they

work and then finally he goes back again

and he finds more laborers in the

eleventh hour so this would be an hour

before the Sun Goes Down basically and

so there’s only an hour left of work

that can be done in the vineyard and he

hires them tells them that they’re going

to be paid adjust amount and they go and

they work for the rest of the day which

is one hour and when they’re all done at

the end of the day the lord of the

vineyard this is according to Jewish law

would need to pay them that same day and

so he has them come in and line up and

he actually pays first those that came

in at the eleventh hour and he gives

them a full penny or in other words a

full day’s wage and those that came in

at the ninth hour a full day’s wage in

the sixth hour a full day’s wage a third

hour a full day’s wage and then the last

group comes in which worked the entire

day and he pays them what he had agreed

upon with him which was a penny and that

is a full day’s wage and so they murmur

and those are the actual words that they

use in verse 11 it says and when they

had received it this is the first group

that came in and worked the entire day

they murmured against the good man of

the house saying these last have wrought

but one hour and thou has made them

equal unto us which have borne the

burden and heat of the day but he

answered one of them and said friend I

do thee no wrong its thou that’s not

that agree with me for a penny take that

thine is and go thy way I will give unto

this last even as unto thee so to the

last he’s going to give the same as he

gave to the first I’d keep that first

and last in mind as we go through these

parables and then in 15 is just a

fabulous line in the scriptures he says

is it

not lawful for me to do what I will with

mine own right in other words why are

you concerned with the others

you and I agreed on this on a certain

price and then he gives us this little

nugget here he says is thine eye evil

because I am good what a great line is

thine eye evil because I am good in

other words I am helping those that may

be poor that did not have a chance to

work the entire day and I’m going to

give them a full wage a full day’s wage

so our is your I evil for that do you

resent are you jealous because I am

being good and helping others out this

is very similar thing that we have in a

number of the parables one that stands

out is the prodigal son alright the

older brother wondering what’s going on

why is there so much given to the son

that is a prodigal son and has gone

off and not done things wisely why is

the fatted calf killed for that son and

this is the same idea that those that

came in last were paid first and are

sometimes celebrated more and so there’s

some principles here that we need to

figure out and one would be jealousy how

does jealousy affect us in this type of

a situation are we jealous in situations

where others have good things happen to

them and where we’re in a situation

where something does not seem fair to us

again

I’ll say it again the gospel is not fair

it has nothing to do with fairness it

doesn’t need to have anything to do with

fairness because we all have the same

potential and that potential is infinite

there is a law of abundance of growth

and spirituality and fulfillment and

happy

for all of us and so to try and compress

that eternal principle down to fairness

within a certain period of time it

doesn’t make any sense it’s fitting

a square peg into a round hole it

doesn’t work and he finishes off the

parable saying exactly what we had

initiated that parable with which was so

the last shall be first and the first

last for many are key as this for many

be called but few chosen now we’ve all

heard that phrase before what does that

mean what do you mean many are called

but few are chosen who would be chosen I

think in studying this previously one

thing that I learned about that phrase

is that chosen think of the elect

right when we elect something we choose

something it’s the same concept it’s not

specifically used in the way that we

would say that God chooses this person

over somebody else just like the elect

are not chosen over somebody else it is

based on what they choose and how they

grow and what they do and so the chosen

are those that choose to live a certain

life and they’re the elect of God so

replace chosen with elect and understand

that that’s not something that is given

as if God were a respecter of persons

something that’s really interesting is

if you look in section 121 now remember

what is happening in that section that

is the gut-wrenching experience that

Joseph Smith is having as he is jailed

in Liberty jail and he finally cries out

as you know how much more Lord can I

take this is beyond what we can handle

and the Lord comes back and says

basically hey Joe look is this

like job have you are you going through

anything like what job went through

chill out a little bit here put some

perspective in place understand what is

going on take in your suffering and

experiences it’ll make you better after

all have you haven’t gone through what

job has gone through have you gone

through what I have gone through and so

when you think about the first will be

last and the last will be first in this

case this is something where Joseph

Smith in a condition of suffering and

sacrifice for the kingdom of God is in a

sense being moved more toward the first

right because he is going through

sacrifice and suffering in the name of

Christ and Christ says to him at this

point many are called and fewer chosen

and the reason they’re not chosen he

says is because their heart is on riches

and that’s exactly what Luke and Matthew

have been going through with all of

these parables the chosen are those that

can move beyond the lower law that don’t

set their heart on carnal things on

physical things on materialism but they

can actually trust in which means lean

on spiritual things more than the things

of mortality and that’s what moves us

beyond right that was what moves us

beyond this mortal experience in our

mortal coil is to be able to trust and

and lean on those spiritual principles

so that all ties together here the first

will be last and the last will be first

has everything to do with those that are

chosen because many are called out there

but those that are not chosen or the

elect are those that are unable to lean

more and love more spiritual things over

the things of the world they can adopt

and be familiar with and work within a

higher law over a lower law so a really

good point here on what is the first can

be last and the last can be first we’re

going to add to that and then in Matthew 20

we’re going to insert this year before

getting the other two parables the Lord

says that he is going as they’re about

to go up to Jerusalem he says that he is

going to be mocked that he is going to

be scourged that he is going to be

crucified again maybe Matthew is writing

this afterward and inserting some of

these sayings but I don’t think so they

know what is going to happen or at least

the Lord knows what’s going to happen

very specifically and Isaiah knew what

was going to happen and so he’s giving

this example back like we were relating

with section 121 when you talk about the

first shall be last and the last shall

be first well here in Christ gives his

own example of himself that he is

basically going through the atonement he

will be the last he will suffer the most

he will be the most downtrodden of all

mankind he will be the very he’s not

just kind of a last to the back of the

line

right in terms of where he stands in

mortality he is at the very end of the

line the very last based on his

suffering and sacrifice for others and

therefore he is the first and he says

that even the Lord even I did not come

to earth to be served but I came to

minister he came to earth to be the last

and that’s why he is the first and then

the mother of James and John come to him

and say Lord grant that my sons can sit

on the right hand basically and can be

there right there with you

and in heaven and in other words that

they’re going to be at the very top that

they can be first or at the first place

the other 10 apostles are not happy with

that they are saying well wait a minute

where are we going to stand then and of

course the Lord says again you’re here

to minister it doesn’t matter where you

stand in heaven where you stand in

heaven is based on where you stand here

and what you do here so he’s talking

about where you are in a hierarchy right

whether it’s here in a mortal hierarchy

or in a heavenly hierarchy in the future

again that goes back to our concept that

we talked about in this podcast about a

fluid hierarchy something very important

to keep in mind that food hierarchy is

based on us being more to the back of

the line in order to be more to the

front of the line but what’s interesting

to me here is the parallel that we have

with the disciples in Bountiful when

Jesus visits them they’re after his

resurrection right remember that the

Apostles are the disciples were all

there and Jesus says kind of the same

thing to them it’s like what would you

want what can I give you and most of

them say similar to kind of what James

and John’s mother says they say we want

to be with you in heaven but there’s

three either three Nephites but say we

want to minister we want to serve here

more and so they’re wanting to not exalt

themselves right now they want to lower

themselves in sacrifice and service

that’s more important to them and the

Lord of course blesses them more because

that’s the desire their heart and then

interestingly also is that in that

example

he also says just like here he says that

they are the Twelve Apostles will be

the judges of Israel he says in

Bountiful to the disciples there to the

12 disciples he says you will judge your

people here so kind of an interesting

parallel that’s happening there and then

we get to our next parable and this is

the and then we get to our next parable

and this is the parable of the unjust

judge and this is a very similar pair of

parable to

the unjust steward and they’re both

called unjust for a reason let’s go over

this I’m going to read through it this is

Luke 18 and he spake a parable unto them

to this end that men ought always to

pray and not to faint or to cower to

back down saying there was a city in a

city a judge which feared not God

neither regarded man and there was a

widow in that city and she came unto him

saying avenge me of mine adversary so

something’s happening to her he wants

that she wants the judge to step in on

this and she wants justice and he would

not for a while but afterward he said

within himself though I fear not God

it’s making that very specific in the

parable though I fear not God and nor

regard man yet because this Widow

trouble with me I will avenge her lest

by her continually coming she weary me

so in other words the judge is saying

look I’m going to have to keep putting up

with her I don’t care at all about man

or god or the widow at all but I’m going to

take care of this and put justice in

place because I don’t want to deal with

her anymore

and so what he’s doing is similar to

what one of the angles of the unjust

steward is he’s putting in a temporal

example and he’s saying here a judge who

does not care about people at all is

going to help the widow and get justice

for her how much more will I take care

of you so that in the end there will be

justice and so that if you are suffering

if you go through many trials in

your life that you will end up first

right you may be last now but I am

mindful of all of this and I am a just

judge and because of the sacrifices and

the difficulties and the sufferings and

the courage and everything that you’ve

gone through I

will you will be rewarded for that that

will go and count toward your good as

Joseph Smith is told in Liberty jail so

a similar thing here where we are

getting the same idea the first shall be

last and the last who needs to be

avenged who needs justice the last will

be first and then after he gives us

parable down in verse 9 he says who he

addressed this to and Luke says who he

addressed it to he says and he spake

this parable unto certain which trusted

in themselves that they were righteous

and despised others so it’s being self

righteous that’s who he’s talking to

he’s saying look you are exalting

yourself and maybe in many ways you are

first here on earth you are first in

mortality you are first in the lower law

you’re rich you’re healthy you are

you’ve gotten away with things because

of finagling or whatever gets you ahead

in life in this world but you will be

last in the world that comes and he’s

talking about similar to the zoramites

well the zoramites were that they were

well-off they were rich and they would

get up and on at the pulpit at church

and that was what they would say they

would talk about how grateful they were

that they were so righteous and they

were how grateful they were that they

were the chosen ones and yet here they

had the poll right outside who they were

not serving they were not lowering

themselves to be the last so that they

could be the first they were simply

trying to take a shortcut without

changing themselves without good works

and service and faith to say we’re going to

be at the front of the line basically

they’re taking cuts right they’re

cutting into the front of the line so

then he gives the parable of the

Pharisee and the publican so remember

where we are with this where there are

these are all these people that are on

opposite ends of the spectrum

many of the publicans apparently have

converted and Jesus has spent

time with them and they have been they

have been dishonest they have been

taking money that they shouldn’t be

taking it’s easy for them to do this and

it creates an environment of corruption

and that’s what the where they live but

Jesus has helped change that with many

of these publicans and the Pharisees of

course are the ones that are maybe

self-righteous in their position in life

and so here’s the parable that he offers

here of the Pharisee and the publican

two men went up into the temple to pray

the one a Pharisee and the other a

publican the Pharisee stood and prayed

thus with himself God I thank thee that

I am NOT as other men are extortioners

unjust adulterers or even as the

publican again sounds like this or

reminds here and then he talks about his

great accomplishments in verse twelve I

fast twice in the week I give tithes of

all that I possess now again using

temple imagery and drama put yourself in

that position do you do we do I ever

think that way boy I’m lucky I’m lucky

in the position that I’m in I’m really

blessed that I’ve got the gospel in my

life that’s a fine feeling to have but

is it does it come without work in faith

and service that’s what he’s trying to

teach here no cutting the line you and I

have probably both had those thoughts at

times that some maybe when were younger

or at some point in our lives where we

have felt fortunate and maybe that has

gone a little bit awry sometimes in that

thought or we’ve seen others right it’s

easier to see others that have that

where there’s a little bit of

self-righteousness and a little bit of

puffed up and what that is self

exaltation they’re exalting themselves

into a certain position of righteousness

and cutting the line right so then he

follows up with and the publican

standing afar off would not lift up so

much as his eyes unto heaven so he’s

is head-down in humility but smote upon

his breast saying God be merciful to me

a sinner so that is our was our two

sides here in the parable

I’ll tell I tell you this man went down

to his house justified that’s the

publican justified rather than the other

for everyone that exalteth himself shall

be abased and he that humbleth himself

shall be exalted it’s exactly the same

thing as the first shall be last and the

last shall be first so the first in this

example are those that are exalted and

maybe they’re exalted by the world or

maybe they’re exalted by themselves but

that’s cutting in line so here we have

these three parables that Jesus teaches

us about the first shall be last and the

last shall be first again it’s this mere

reality between heaven and earth and I

want to expound on that just a little

bit here so we get a deeper

understanding of what this principle

means because it runs through the entire

gospel to me as I see this phrase what I

understand from it is covenant there

always must be a covenant and as I’ve

spoken of previously about covenants you

have to have something that is exalted

and something that is lower to be

brought together right that’s atonement

that’s at one mint you have to have

something just like Adam and Eve that

are split apart and then have to be

brought back together you have to have

the kingdom of Judah and the Northern

Kingdom and one is well better off than

the other and they have to try and be

brought together and they are first

split apart and now they’re very split

apart and yet that’s everything that has

to do with the future and the Gentiles

and the bringing together of a lost ten

tribes is covenant they’ve been pulled

apart Gentiles from Judah is our

separate that for ten tribes from Judah

are separate they’ve been separated and

now going through the

the end of times the time of the

Gentiles is when all of that will then

be brought back together and several

times in the scriptures we will read

about how the Gentiles the time of the

Gentiles that they represent who was

first last in other words the gospel was

brought to the Jews first and then later

it went to the Gentiles at the time of

Christ and then in the last days now it

first goes to the Gentiles and then

eventually it will get to the Jews and

that is the instance of the first shall

be last and the last shall be first but

that’s usually the only example that

we’re given outside of the parables

about that phrase and I think it’s much

much deeper than that I think that what

it really means is covenant period it is

bringing everything together it is an

underpinning of the Covenant of God of

the atonement that runs throughout time

and as we think of the vines that travel

over the wall in the Book of Mormon and

eventually are brought together as we

think about the olive trees and the

splicing the grafting in of the wild

branches that is the first the first

will be last and the last shall be first

that is bringing it all together it’s

the same thing with in at the same time

period where some are lower than others

and some are higher that’s the way it

has to be there has to be suffering that

one of the great arguments of the

atheists is that they’re suffering in

the world you cannot have progression

without suffering not just for those

that suffer but for the idea of covenant

to ever take place because who’s going

to be able to reach out and help those

that suffer and to whom are those that

suffer are going to be able to reach –

if everybody is on the same plane with

everything the corrupted perverted

concept of everybody being the same and

equal in a utopia of sameness

is in direct opposition to the plan of

God because then you cannot serve not to

the same extent you cannot choose to the

same extent and mortality is here for us

for a reason to be on different levels

in different ways with different things

that doesn’t mean there’s not justice

Jesus’s point here is that the first

shall be last and the last shall be

first that is justice so when we read

about the first shall be last and the

last shall be first in section 29 we

read of course about the creation and

about things that are spiritual and

temporal because that’s what the

creation is about it is about pulling

things apart and bringing them back

together again that is a natural thing

to be spoken of when you’re talking

about the first shall be last and the

last shall be first when we’re talking

about the Gentiles in the Book of Mormon

in first Nephi chapter 13 where we’re

talking about vision me Five’s vision

after the tree of life or he’s talking

about the future and about the Gentiles

same thing the first will be last and

the last shall be first because you’re

bringing those people together you have

to have the Jews that reach to the

Gentiles and the Gentiles that reach to

the Jews and the ten tribes that reached

everybody and everybody that reaches to

the ten tribes it doesn’t work any other

way so the prophets know all of this

they know this is how this works and

these themes in this principle runs

through all time throughout the

scriptures throughout history and

there’s no way around that

that is the way to get where we need to

go and just to wrap up this idea think

of the greatest example of the first

should be last and the last shall be

first Jesus Christ one of his titles is

Alpha and Omega the beginning of the law

alphabet in the end of the alphabet

that’s what that means he is the

beginning and the end he is the first

and he is the last and so that’s the

goal for each one of us is for us to be

the last by service and by humility by

sacrifice for those around us while

we’re here in mortality

so that we can be first in heavenly

things and in spiritual things and there

is reward for all those who have the

courage to choose what is right to grow

to progress and to become more like to

see I’ll talk to you next time

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