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16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

 


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16. So the first shall be last. He does not now compare the Jews to the Gentiles, (as in another passages) nor the reprobate, who swerve from the faith, to the elect who persevere; and therefore the sentence which is introduced by some interpreters, many are called, but few are chosen, does not apply to that point. Christ only meant to say that every one who has been called before others ought to run with so much the greater alacrity, and, next, to exhort all men to be modest, not to give themselves the preference above others, but willingly to share with them a common prize. As the apostles were the first-fruits of the whole church, they appeared to possess some superiority; and Christ did not deny that they would sit as judges to govern the twelve tribes of Israel. But that they might not be carried away by ambition or vain confidence in themselves, it was necessary also to remind them that others, who would long afterwards be called, would be partakers of the same glory, because God is not limited to any person, but calls freely whomsoever He pleases, and bestows on those who are called whatever rewards He thinks fit.




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