THE WEEK OF SEPTUAGESIMA – TUESDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 11:33-36
The last will be first, and the first last. Matthew 20:16
We must understand the two words “last” and “first” in two respects: in respect to God and in respect to men.
“The first” before men and those who consider and conduct themselves as those who are closest to God, as “the first” before God, quite paradoxically are regarded as “the last” before God and the farthest removed from Him.
On the other hand, those who are “the last” in the eyes of men, who regard and conduct themselves as those farthest removed from God and “the last” before Him, are paradoxically the closest to God and “the first” before Him.
He who wants to be secure should closely follow the saying, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled” (Matthew 23:12). For here in this Gospel, we are clearly reminded that “the first” before men is “the last” before God, and “the last” before men is “the first” before God. Similarly, “the first” before God is “the last” before men, and “the last” before God is “the first” before men.
AE 76, 317-18
PRAYER: You have shown us, heavenly Father, that our salvation in Christ is beyond all human understanding and confronts man with much that seems absurd to human reason. Humble us by your grace, that we never presume to judge you and your ways with us by our own weak reasons and understanding. May we always remain firmly established in your Word of truth, for Christ’s sake. Amen.