In my growing up as a christian, I can still remember the many times that people have used that phrase “ ” Sometimes some people lose their position or place for some reason or the other which could be due to their own fault and that phrase becomes handy. Like I always suggest interpreting scripture by scripture is vital for correct interpretation.
So the question is why did Jesus say this?
One of such of such reference was when Jesus healed the centurion’s servant. Jesus commended his faith and said that he had encountered such a faith in all of Israel. Then he said the following:
11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 8:11,12
Another of such reference was when he taught them the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. [a] and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ [b]
What was the message?
That grace was an equal opportunity employer for all men. But first to the Jews and second to the gentiles.
This salvation has provided justification. He justifies us when we believe in Jesus Christ and that constitutes God being just and fair then that means that all of our sin has been placed in the body of Christ at Calvary, and that God is honoring the price that Jesus paid by forgiving us.
It is not about how long we have labored for him but how much he labored for us.
This justification makes us appear before God as if we have never sinned in our life. This act is miraculously done by no effort on our part; it is all a gift of God’s grace through Christ’s finished work. By justifying us upon our faith in Jesus, God proves to the world that He is a righteous God. If He required us to earn our salvation or our blessings by works then He would be guilty of killing His Son for our sins and then holding us accountable for them as well.
But was this grace accepted by the first receipients? For majority the answer was No!
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. – John 1:11
Jesus made a conclusion and it was a prophecy that was fulfilled not long after he ascended back to heaven.
(the Jews)(Matthew 21:43)
The Jews were an Esau that gave up their birthright and the gentiles were the Jacob that took what they lost. The first became last and the last became first.
11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
When the temple was burnt down in 70AD the kingdom was transferred to the gentiles. It was an official announcement by God as the “old earth and heaven” passed away and the new appeared, the new city is the bride of the lamb of God.
Grace to you.