Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“On the Way to Jerusalem Part 2 (Matthew 20:1-34)” pp. 252-262.
Jesus continues teaching and encouraging his disciples in Matthew 20 as they move toward Jerusalem. The first sixteen verses consist of a parable of the kingdom, of which Mitch observes debate among commentators (Mitch 2010, 253). After a brief review of different interpretations, Mitch concludes that it illustrates the Gentiles being brought into the kingdom of God and “placed on an equal footing with Jews as fellow members of the people of God (Mitch 2010, 253). The laborers hired last received a full day’s pay, just as the laborers hired first. This was due to the master’s generosity (Mitch 2010, 254).
Jesus makes another prediction of his death in verses 17-19. This final prediction is very detailed, yet is forgotten by the disciples (Mitch 2010, 256). Notably, Jesus does speak of the resurrection here (Mitch 2010, 257).
In verses 20-28 the mother of James and John asks for positions of honor for her sons. This may well show a positive desire on her part (Mitch 2010, 258). Yet she misunderstands Jesus’ kingdom. Mitch notes the irony that when Jesus entered his kingdom the people on his left and right were criminals (Mitch 2010, 258). Jesus’ kingdom has many hardships but results in eternal salvation (Mitch 2010, 260).
Finally, leaving Jericho, Jesus pauses to heal two blind men. As the Son of David, the Messianic King, Jesus provides for the well being of his subjects who follow him (Mitch 2010, 262).