Please explain Matthew 19:30.

Matthew 19:30 states, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

You may also read Matthew 20:16, Mark 10:31 and Luke 13:30. All three verses contain the statement “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” These verses have dual meanings.

One meaning is that people who are first—“important”—in this life, will not necessarily have such status in the kingdom of God. Those who are of lesser standing—“the weak of the world”—are normally those God calls (I Cor. 1:27). It is, then, these individuals who will have top­—FIRST—positions in God’s kingdom.

Another meaning of this verse can be found by reading verses 24-30 of Luke 13. During the life of Christ, the Jews were the first to hear the gospel of God’s kingdom. However, most did not accept Christ or believe His message.

But when Christ opened the gospel to the Gentiles, many accepted it. They believed and followed God. In this example, even though the Gentiles were LAST to receive the gospel and the chance to be in the kingdom, they will be among the FIRST to enter it!