The Last Shall Be First

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Matthew 19:30 “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

Throughout the Scriptures there are two significant ideologies at war with one another. On the one hand, there is Empire. We read in the Old Testament about the Egyptian Empire, the Assyrian Empire, and the Babylonian Empire. We also read about significant Jewish influence during the reign of some kings of Israel. In the New Testament, it’s the Roman Empire. This ideology focuses on power. The more power, control, and influence a nation or a people has, the better.

The second ideology is Shalom. While it’s translated as peace in English, there’s a fuller meaning. Its focus is on shepherding and surrender. God was a shepherd for His people. He also longed for a shepherd to rule His people, and king David was that shepherd. Later on, Jesus became our Shepherd. 

These two ideologies continue to be on full display today. People often seek power, control, and influence. But to live like Jesus is to live steeped in humility. It’s to live as a shepherd. A servant. Not a life of power, but of true Shalom. 


     MATTHEW 19:23-30 (also read the commentary notes in your Study Bible of choice.)

QUESTION: What are at least three ways in which you see the ideologies of Empire and Shalom on display in our world today? 

REAL LIFE PRACTICE: Are you doing too much? Practice slowing down and living life at the pace of your soul by utilizing the One Minute Pause app at least twice daily. The app is free, and is available on iPhone and Android devices.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I recognize that I see the ideologies of Empire and Shalom everywhere today. I see Empire in local, national, and international politics. I see it in my culture at work, my extended family, and worse, I see it in myself. Continue to prune away anything in my life that is not connected to You so that I may live a life of humility, shepherding, serving, and surrendering – a life of true Shalom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

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