The First Shall Be Last

First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First

Christianity Oasis has provided you with the First shall be last meaning Bible study of the the first shall be last and the last shall be first quote made by Jesus. We will be looking into that and all aspects of the Christian Walk. This absolutely awesome study will reveal truth as to bring forth understanding and true inner peace.

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This particular study from our massive selection of Christian studies is the First shall be last meaning quest for truth and understanding of the thought provoking and mysterious statement made by Jesus which is: The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First. We will look into how the Spiritual interpretation and the first shall be last meaning affects modern day Christians. Let's begin, shall we?

The First Shall Be Last Meaning

First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Warning

When Jesus was here on Earth, a man came running and knelt at His feet and asked what he could do to receive everlasting life. Jesus answered, Why do you call me good? There is none good but One, and that's God. If you wish for eternal life, keep the commandments. The man said, Master, I've kept the commandments since I was a child. Jesus looked at him with love and said, You are missing one ingredient. If you wish to be whole, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor and then you will have treasure in Heaven, afterward come and follow me.

This is a very important point of concern in the First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Bible passage ... The man grew sad at what Jesus said, because he was rich. Jesus looked at His disciples and said, I tell you honestly, with what difficulty will those who have riches enter into the Kingdom of God.

The disciples were surprised at what He said, and He added, It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. Still surprised, the disciples said to one another, Who then, can be saved? Jesus answered, With men it's impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Then Peter said, We have left everything and followed you, what will we have?

Matthew 19:28-30

28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 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.
30 But many that are first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Wow, that is a strange saying ... What is the first shall be last meaning? Jesus says these words (The First shall be last and the last shall be first) a few times in the Gospels. But what do these words mean?

The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Story

Let's go find out ... Let's look at other very important messages and parables that Jesus shared where He used these same words as to see if we can understand the first shall be last meaning:

Luke 13:23-30

23 Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

Jesus used these same words to reveal to us a Truth. What is the first shall be last meaning? If one does the Spiritual math, Jesus is saying that those who are living high or deemed as upper class and elect not to choose Jesus shall be replaced and those who are deemed as lower on the worldly ladder. Will be offered their place. In other words like Jesus is saying that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. In this particular case, He is referring to the Gentiles (Non Jewish people) taking the place of many Jewish people that traded God up for the worldly pleasures. This causes:

" ... many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

Jesus shares more with us:

Mark 9:33-35

33 And He came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Mystery

We begin to see a pattern form when Jesus uses the words ... The First shall be last and the last shall be first. This time the words are used to reveal to the Apostles who were arguing about who would be the greatest of the Apostles, that they should not seek to be highly respected in man's world but rather lowly and humble because:

" ... many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

Jesus shares even more with us on this topic:

Matthew 20:1-16

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.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the Lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the first shall be last, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Comparison

Jesus is comparing the workers in the field to the Christian Faith. Many that have been Christians for quite some time find it difficult to understand why God would let someone come in at the last moment and be saved when they were Christians for many years.

Jesus tells us of this same ... The First shall be last and the last shall be first thought process in the parable of the Prodigal Son:

Luke 15:11-32

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Detour

Let's take a little the first shall be last meaning field trip ... The younger son represents the lost souls which are children of God who are caught up in the world and God wants them back. The older Son represents those Christians older in the Faith. The older souls in Christ are oft times jealous that the younger in Christ are being allowed back into the family. They want to try and burden them with laws when they themselves were saved by Grace.

But why?

This is not an unusual view as even old Testament prophets did this. After being called by God to warn the people of Nineveh, Jonah ran and hid and ended up being swallowed by a whale for 3 days and 3 nights in order for God to grab his attention.

Jonah reluctantly agreed to go to Nineveh and prophesied as God had commanded. The people of Nineveh heard the Word of the Lord and repented. God forgave them. But this angered Jonah and he even said it would be better for himself to die than for them to be forgiven tho he himself had just been forgiven and released from the whale's belly.

Jonah 4:1-4

1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

Here is the first shall be last meaning tidbit of truth ... The story goes on to say Jonah set up a lil camp on a hill and awaited the destruction of Nineveh even after God said He forgave them. The book has a very abrupt ending.

Are you like Jonah? Do you make it hard for the lost children to return to God? If so, you best beware what Jesus is saying ...

" ... many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

These words ... The First shall be last and the last shall be first, are such a great lesson. There are many people who go through their entire lives with the good fortune of being Christian. Many from childhood, were raised as Christians and others, early in life were adopted into God's family. There are also many who don't find Jesus until they're older, and some, don't seek Him until the very last hour.

The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First Summary

If you're one who has followed the Christian path all your life, this parable teaches not to be jealous of those lost sheep who weren't found until the last hour. Be joyous for them. Praise His generosity. God is good. He can do whatever He wants with His children. Be thankful for your place. Here is the best way to explain the words:

" ... many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

Luke 18:9-14

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 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 this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Humility Comes Before Honor

Proverbs 15:33

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

The First shall be last meaning and the last shall be first interpretation is that we must choose to serve and not be served.

Hmmmmmmm. First shall be last or last shall be first ... Which one will you choose to be now (temporarily) for later (eternally)? Choose wisely now that you better understand the first shall be last meaning.