Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And I [also] say to you, that many people will come from the east and the west and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
So, the [person who seems to be] last will be first [i.e., in importance and blessings], but the [person who seems to be] first will [end up] being last."
Which of these two sons did what his father wanted?" They answered, "The first one." Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes [will] enter the kingdom of God ahead of you.
But many that [appear to] be first [i.e., in importance and blessings] will [end up] being last. And [those appearing to] be last will [end up] being first."
And when all the people, together with the tax collectors, heard this they praised God for being so just, and were immersed with the immersion [preached] by John.
And certainly, those [who appear to be] last will be first [i.e., in importance and blessings], and those [who appear to be] first will [end up] being last."
But the tax collector stood at a distance [i.e., inconspicuously] and would not even look up to heaven, but struck his chest [i.e., in remorse], saying, 'God, [please] have mercy on a sinner like me.'
Now the law of Moses was introduced [into the world] in order to cause sin to increase [i.e., it defined many things to be wrong that were previously not regarded as sin]. But with the increase of sin, God's unearned favor increased all the more.
What shall we say then? [Simply this]: That the Gentiles, who did not attempt to become right with God [by how they lived] were made right with God, and this was the result of their faith [in Christ].
You [Christians] were running [the race of life] well; who hindered you [from making further progress] so that [now] you are no longer obeying the truth?
So, as long as God's promise of entering into a state of rest with Him [still] remains, we should fear that someone among you will appear [in the end] to have fallen short of [attaining] it. [Note: In this section "entering into rest" refers to Israel entering Canaan (verses 6, 8) and to Christians entering heaven (verses 3, 9). The "Sabbath day rest" is represented as a type of both].