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November 8, 2021 1:30 pm
Something said in life that are no free lunches you received these telephone calls.
As I have someone saying that there is a free cruise and free vacation in Hawaii or somewhere in Rome was very skeptical because when we try we know that that are strings attached.
So we have this expression that are no free lunches and then life is generally true that you get what you pay for your work. You get paid you don't work don't get paid.
You study your pass the exam you are lazy and you flunk the exam you train hard you when when the game you are lazy you don't practice and you lose the game and so in life.
Generally speaking, we get what we desire. For there are no free lunches is very interesting that in the Gospels and as we study the teaching of Jesus. He explains that the values of the kingdom of God are the exact opposite of the world. For example, Jesus says if you want to gain your life, you must lose it turns our values upside you want to gain your life you're going to lose it. If you want to be great you myself. If you want to exalt yourself. You got to humble yourself because whoever humbles himself shall be exalted, and at the beginning and the end of the Scripture were going to read. We have another of these enigmatic sayings where Jesus says, many who are first will be last and the last first. And again, so the last will be first and the first last in the kingdom of heaven were going to learn that the last shall be first and the first shall be last visit was that all about.
Well let's read this wonderful parable told by our Lord in Matthew chapter 19 if you're visiting.
We are excited that you're here and were going through consecutively. The gospel according to Matthew. And we find ourselves in the opening verses of Matthew chapter 20 look back at the last verse of chapter 19 that we saw last week, Jesus is speaking. Notice what he says many who are first will be last and the last first chapter 24 the kingdom of heaven is like a master of the house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. I'm going out about the third and he saw others standing idle in the marketplace and he said to them, you go into the vineyard to and whatever is right, I will give you. So they went going out again about the sixth hour in the ninth out. He did the same and about the 11th hour he went out and find others standing and he said to them, why do you stand here idle all day he said to them, because no one assigned us.
He said to them, you go into the vineyard to and when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last to the first and when those hired about the 11th hour came, each of them received a denarius know when those hired first came they thought they would receive more but each of them also received a denarius I don't receiving it. They grumbled the master of the house saying these last worked only one hour and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day of the scorching heat.
Reply to one of them friend I'm doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius to what belongs to you and go. I choose to give this last worker as I give to you I'm I not allowed to do what I choose, with what belongs to me, or do you but garage my generosity. So the last will be first on the first last. Jesus is the brilliant teacher is he tells a parable and chronicles it easier to understand and this one kind of sets us up about so only told by Matthew. So the other gospel writers don't mention it. A tall and on reading it.
We feel a little uneasy, don't we refill it well Mayan deal with them and adjust way. So I think of the parable. There's a hiring of the workmen, various workmen are hired at different times during the day to work in the bin yard, a workday then was from 6 AM to 6 PM is 12 hours so workmen in our culture, one paid by the hour, but by the day men willing to work gathered in the village square, along comes a man who wants to hire some laborers so some laborers are hard in the beginning of the day at 6 AM they're going to work 12 hours.
I noticed in the verses one and two. A contract of employment. A verbal contract is concluded. Verse two after agreeing with the laborers for a denarius, but after some negotiation under the owner the boss as well enjoy my bin yard. I'll pay you denarius, and that these men agreed is very important.
One denarius is paid for the days employment going to work 12 hours. Other workers are hired at the third hour, verses three and four about the third hour he sees others standing idle, and he hires them and he says to them that's for whatever is right, I will give you it doesn't mention the specific wage pieces are going to pay you whatever is right, whatever is fair. I will pay you workmen apparently trust the landowner. Other workers verse five are hired on the same basis on the sixth and the ninth hours and the owner does the same thing wouldn't pay you a fair wage. The day comes, it's no 5PM the 11th hour notice verses six and seven he says that why are you standing idle all day and is it well that were idle is just that we haven't got work at the says well I'll hire you.
You go into the vineyard to prop the graves of any right and the owner of the bin yard once to get all of the grapes in that day and there is no discussion on the wage to be paid. So what we have we have some men who start at 6 AM this diverse group.
The agreement is they will be paid one denarius then that are people hired at 9 AM and that no one in the onus is on that if he was right on their pay your fair wage and the trust of manner also hired at 3 PM and then the last group are hired at 5 PM which means that they only work one hour. Get the picture and workday for all of them ends at 6 PM. Now how are they going to be paid. One of the end of the day. The man gets his foreman and says I want you to pay the laborers, those who are those who have worked the least are paid. First, verse eight. When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last up to the first so those who are one hour and began at 5 PM I paid first, and they receive, I'm sure. To their surprise a denarius, and each workmen comes to the foreman and all of them receive the same wage. One denarius starting with the those whose work the lease graduating up to those who would work a full 12 hours each of them receives the same wage. Verse 16 so the last will be first was at 5 PM our first and the first those who began at 6 AM. Our last note understandably think of what you would feel if you had begun at 6 AM. Understandably, those would work all day think they will receive more.
You can imagine them saying oh is given the guys at work just one out in three hours they got denarius I would going to get much more that would be that expectation isn't it they had worked through the whole day sure lay there going to receive more but to their surprise, they only receive a denarius, but the owner reminds them that is what the agreement was verse two after agreement with the laborers for a denarius. Verse 13 friend I'm doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius with a contract of employment with you complaining about, you agreed to work for a denarius and you getting a denarius, you have no grounds for complaints with the points. The first and last receive the same wage is very important understand this parable.
Whether you are 12 hours or nine hours or six hours only one hour you received the same wage.
Now what happens to the workmen who'd worked long as we do. They do they do exactly what you probably would do the complaint they grumble. We worked hard the whole day weaving there in the scorching heat. We worked and we were stunned. Now these fellows come along only work in our three hours and their receiving the same as we received, that doesn't seem fair, does it think what you think of the order. The affair Mayan or is he no doubt I never pick grapes but when I was a boy, 10, 11, 12, 13 in the summer holidays where we lived. There were farmers raising raspberries and strawberries and so we were dispatched myself.
My older brother my younger brother three of us dispatched and we worked all day picking raspberries and strawberries eating a few as we went along but we were paid on the quantity we pick I like to. The more you pick, the more you got paid to be there all day and received nothing. And that seems fair doesn't it. But is something in this parable which probably troubles us a little bit.
Would the workers who would begun at 6 AM. Would they have grumbled, if the other man had received only part of a denarius, I don't think they would've one should only work half a day received half a denarius, everything well that's fair very complaint, did you notice verse 12 that. Interestingly, the complaint these last worked only one hour and you have made them notice it equal to us, that's not fair. They didn't do equal work, but their receiving equal compensation, we who have worked all day. We who have been in the sun all day on the work so hard for 12 hours.
We desire more than a denarius will entitled to more fascinating parable. I noticed the context number last week number, the rich young ruler Jesus gives a challenge goal. So all that you have and give to the poor and come, follow me, and we saw this rich young ruler turn his back on Jesus and walk away because he had creates possessions.
What does Peter say chapter 19 verse 27 Peter said she we've left everything and followed you.
What then will we have. Remember, Lord, we abandon their gnats and their boats. We we left everything and follow you. What what are we going to get this tells that he says, verse 2129 and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my namesake will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. The disciples the 12 disciples are not the only ones whom God will bless those who come to the parable of the context. The masterminds them that they receive the wage that was agreed has the master acted just like she has he has acted with perfect justice as the master says money is all mine I can do with my money. What I like.
If I want to pay someone a denarius for an hour, that's up to me. Notice he says a mind that's 15 I'm I not allowed to do wide shoes with what belongs to me, or do you big garage. My generosity to the men who did not were told they weren't lazy men had waited all day for employment with the room that we would have realized that they had families in need to they needed money. There's no welfare checks.
These men wanted to work. The problem is not the generosity of the landowner. After all, is he says I can do. I like with my money was the problem, problem that many of us have.
The problem is the envy and resentment and the meanness and the smallmindedness of the workmen who didn't want others to receive the same wage.
They would have been perfectly happy with a denarius if the others had only received the proportion of the denarius.
What really ticked him off was we've worked hard longer than everyone else and you have made them equal to us we should be up here.
We should be getting more all laborers receive the same wage.
So the last will be first in the first will be last masterful teacher is what the BK from I wanted remind you that Jesus says at the beginning verse one for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of arts, so when this to learn three principles from this parable. Three principles of the kingdom of heaven know if said three because I like three or believe in the Trinity believe in past present future. So I often the three points. I'm going to give you three principles, but in a sense there's only one 31 principal is aware said in three ways three facets to help us to understand Churchill said if you have an important point to make. Don't try to be subtle or clever. Good advice for preachers use a piledriver.
The point once. Then come back and hit it again, then hit the third time a tremendous whack right great orator. Churchill with a sense of the one point but I'm going to hit it three times. I'm going to say that one way I want to say that another way and I'm going to say that another way, but it is one basic point that when you get but I'm going to say it's three times this is what the kingdom of heaven is like first everyone saved by God's grace receives the same gift of eternal life is wonderful. Everyone every single person saved by the grace of God receives the same gift of eternal life. God's grace always rates. Here's a nation of Israel, God's chosen people with many privileges yet Gentiles who are saved, we receive the same gift of eternal life. Those second-class citizens with God. The thief on the cross, who trusted Jesus Christ Mormons before he died receives the same gift of eternal life. As the apostle Peter last shall be first. The first shall be last. Here's an old person who trusts Christ for salvation on their deathbed over the years I've had the privilege of visiting people who are dying in the last church.
The man we prayed and prayed for him. His wife was a godly woman and he was dying and going to his home.
His wife said pastor.
We both are sublime and thoughtful. One late one night was so wonderful was no one there. Other than randoms myself and I had the joy of reminding him again.
Old whole story of the gospel and their literally on his death bed he trusted Christ that individual receives the same gift of eternal life as a little boy who comes to Christ when these eight years old and lives to be 98 and who through his life has faithfully loved God and serve God and trusted God both received the same gift. Many who are first will be last and the last first, so the last will be first and the first last. Sometimes Christians a bit skeptical about this center sometimes almost resented we hear of someone trusting Christ on death row whether people say was as if some people don't want the person to be saved that person on death row for 10 to Christ and asked for salvation receives the same gift of salvation of the grace of God. Only God knows our hearts, but those who receive eternal life. At the end of their life are just as saved as those who trust Christ at the beginning of the life. This is not saying that you wait to your that that the trust Christ obsolete on the estimate but think of the grace of God I can't say to those who are followers of Jesus Christ. When you see God working in the lives of others, often in unexpected ways in unexpected individuals.
John presents God's grace to others drummer the elder brother in Luke 15. The prodigal comes back. The father is delighted everything I have is yours prodigal comes back and says of sinned against heaven and in your sight. I'm just not worthy to be your son.
I'm mainly like one of your hired servants and the father says absolutely not.
You might son brings him back and they have a party of celebration, but the elder brother doesn't understand the grace of God and he is full of resentment and the father has to remind him everything I have is yours. He resents the father's grace and mercy to his prodigal son revealing that if you love always on the right thing had been a good person. Along comes this individual and live a life of sin and that really mess up their Senate are saved in everyone's rejoicing, but what what what about me. Jesus says the joy in the presence of the Angels over one center parents, joyful joyful when people come to Christ unexpected way, are you full of joy, when someone who is an unauthentic follower of Jesus Christ strays and backsliders and then they come back. Did you receive them with joy on our our our U.S. Senate conduct's Taken always looking for the worth and complaining. Don't begrudge to use the words of Jesus in verse 15, Don begrudge guards generosity to others. Don't so if you have been attending church for many many years. She worked very hard to have given generously to the work of the Lord you are your faithful good followers of Jesus Christ on now, you people come to Calvary and enjoy our our facilities and administratively get involved in its true did not sound as long as you have sure they have not given over the years. As you have yet God is blessing the wonderful to see this person then enthusiastically involved in ministry and some there's nothing well who is this person I really don't know them what's happening and we could of and attitudes resentment. Don't be and is a resentful of the work of God in the lives of others. The gracious resentful of others resentful of how God has blessed some people materially. They have more material goods than you have and you feel I'm working just as hard as they haven't, what, why, why is God blessed them, and not blessed me in the same way.
Do you really think that you deserve more than others. We work the bank for the hospital and you're good you got bonuses and you're happy with your bonus until you find someone to more than you have. Instead of being joyful.
There's a spirit of resentment are you thankful for what God in his face is done in your life. Over the years all you say he is less other people more that may be whether you thankful for the way God has blessed you. You think you deserve more. Really, who are the complainers in the parable, obviously not. Those are the only work whenever he got the notice that delightful for the complaint was making all the noise and the fuss those who would work the longest, and felt.
This is on. They think they have a just cause they want everyone to hear the perspective instead of saying what a gracious, generous man, this is but he gives a denarius to this man that I know who's got five children and he's going to go home with great joy instead of rejoicing with either fool of envy and criticism present God's grace and blessing others. I have to ask myself this you thankful person are you you thankful for what God has given you. First of all, your salvation, the greatest of all, that nothing in this whole world can take it with you. Thankful for that. But you thankful for what God is doing in your life is able. Others have more life is unfair. Yes, it seems to be from our perspective.
Sometimes things just the things that happen in our lives things that happened in my life.
I can understand but they point of the parable is this I'm not to compare myself with others.
I'm to be thankful for what God in his grace is doing in my life I have to ask you your grumbling you complaining home manual you complaining your wife does complaining about your children. Instead of saying you don't know blessing of God in your life and your home complaining about work. One of the individuals whose agitator you never quite happy you're you're always trying to start something up.
You're always pointing out what you think on equities in perhaps promotions or bonuses of compensation or time off five euro bill in agitator instead of doing what God wants you to do to see how blessed I like the church kind of the individual that is a complaint you focus on that are so many blessings together something that you don't think it's quite fair according to your ideas. You can make a big big fuss about many who are first will be last and the last first Don begrudge guards generosity. I don't know about you but this is convicting for me because sometimes in life try to compare myself with others, and so here I am I'm I'm doing all of this work and this is not quite fair, instead of saying how blessed I God's grace has been big point everyone saved receives the same gift of eternal life. So secondly, God is never indebted to us. Don't ever think that God owes you something, God's grace. In fact, is lavished on us and God's grace is always sufficient. All of the grace I need for today.
God will give me some worried about tomorrow. Don't worry about tomorrow. I guarantee this tomorrow. God's going to give you all of the grace all of the help. All of the wisdom that you need as you look to him as we began their service.
Don't think because you have followed Jesus and have served Jesus faithfully for many many years that God is obligated to bless you in a way that you think is just God is never obligated to anyone. Paul writes, first Corinthians 1112 God the Spirit apportions to each one individually as he think of God's gifts are spiritual lives. Don't compare yourself with others.
Understand that God sovereignly apportions his gifts to his people as he wills sovereignly given each of us has received the spiritual gift, which is a manifestation of the grace of God in our lives and you are to accept that.
Don't compare that with others. Does it well. This person can do better than I can. Of course they can. Why do you always want to be the top dog. No totally the wrong way to look at it, thankful God's grace is very natural for us to think that we do is that of God's blessing. If you find yourself used your serving God you been following Christ and therefore you think God is going to blessed me in this way God God's always going to give me a great job does going to help with my family. God God is never going to bring any suffering into my life because I'm a I'm a good person serving God.
Don't think that God is evident that to you was these men we've worked hard.
We been in the scorching heat we desire more than a denarius. We worked hard on much longer than they have. You really think you deserve more than other people do God is never ever obliged to you because of what you have done. We don't serve God to appear for debtor to atone for their sins.
No, this is the attitude God wants that we delight serve Maria as she stood here a few months ago, testified to the joy of the Lord, which is our strength that we serve God as his children joyfully and faithfully as a demonstration of his grace. Trust his grace. God is always always a gracious and generous on the part of those reminding us that you glad God is a gracious God, you really think you want a God who is going to give you what you desire. You think because you've done 123 God is not obliged to deliver what you think you deserve fact God graciously does much more. For those who trust him that his justice demands it is true God is a just God. This man was just in the parable, he kept his word LP a denarius. He kept his word. He was a just employer, but he was more than just he was also gracious and generous you and a boss like last shall be first in the first lines is the point. The 3rd Way, God deals with us on the principal of sheer manhood were totally part of a day did not deserve a denarius that they, the employer acted towards them, not as a matter of justice with as a matter of grace, and generosity. He gave not based on their performance not based on the hours that they had worked this parable reminds us as we as Scripture does repeatedly of the triumph of grace of amazing grace is that wretches like us.
This particle is shouting grace grace grace Paul says, by the grace of God, the nature of God's grace noticed it was the owner who came to the marketplace. Grace comes down from God. The landowner took the initiative and went to the market but wonderful to know that our salvation isn't based on what we do doesn't start without us.
It has begun in the sovereign an eternal purposes of God that God in his grace comes to us in Jesus Christ. Grace is love that stoops done and done and down and comes to people like you and me know is not produced by us manufactured by us is not that we are good then God said, well, little Johnny that is a good person, little Susie's eyes little girl and so I'm going to blessed them. That's not how it works at all. Grace from the heart. I speak to people to come and belief, and that is this some of you got this wrong way, so wrong that because you're a good person you get to heaven, but God will reward you for what you have done. This parable shatters that you grace by definition is undesired. It is unmerited kindness. It is the very opposite of an award is the very opposite of compensation grace by definition kind. BN can be bought. The workers didn't earn the denarius would work just a few hours. Of course they didn't payment was given to them out of the landowner's generosity. God is just, yes. Praise God for that is also gracious God experience just one a God who is just as one, the person who just gives you what you deserve, no, no, God is just God showers lavishes his grace's. He offers you what you do not deserve them later in life, grace gives us what we do not deserve God surprises us with his grace.
Paul writes, he saved us, not because of works of righteousness done by us, but according to his own did you catch the song we signing that however great our sin.
God's mercy is grace is more, it is greater than our sins and this grace when you get this is absolutely and totally free. The gospel is not. You do this and God will do his part. The gospel is not you obey the commandments and if you do, God will let you into heaven is not that tall is not do this is to look through our Lord Jesus Christ presented all for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. This is a gift is a gift of God we receive it freely all of God's grace never pay for your salvation. You can never contribute anything to your salvation is grace is how do I get it is received through faith. Grace is the function the infinite confident of salvation. How was it received a is the channel by which this living water comes. I look to Christ. I look at his lovely face.
I looked on the Lord of glory, who died for my sins, was buried, and rose again. Faith is the outstretched time and receiving the gift today God and his grace and his limitless grace, whoever you are, whatever your mess up your life of done.
God offers you grace, salvation, forgiveness will you receive it when you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be safe.
First will be last of the last first.
All who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ inherited eternal you received the gift of eternal life you received God's order you you like these word Wednesday know I need to get what I desire my friend, if you get what you deserve, it will be an eternity in hell. That's what we all deserve God commands his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us grace. I prescribe them saved by grace.
If you are saved by grace are certain things that should characterize you. Do you display that grace to others. Your harsh, legalistic individual divisive in your relationships because you're just so tough you're so unyielding there's a higher says about you and Jeff is all about justice. Yes we should all be about justice, but we should also be all about grace and generosity.
Forgiveness, kindness, generous, wonderful to have friends who are kind and generous on the road to being a home where will your spires and your children or grandchildren. If you have them where present evidence of grace reverse thankful hearts with her generosity with theirs. Kindness when were quick to forgive each other rather than thinking of the works about each other as guards and his grace toward grace, grace upon grace on us. We serve God, then, not grudgingly trying to pay off the debt. But no, we serve God joyfully out of a heart of love and thankfulness for this one who loved us and gave himself for us today, God offers you know what you deserve. He offers you absolutely free is never too late to come to Christ you maybe 9830 maybe eight makes no difference receive Christ, receive the same love of God that came into my heart is the love of God will come into your the blood of Christ to cleanse me from all of my sentences and blog that will quench you from all of your set of the Holy Spirit there indwells me is the same Holy Spirit is going to dwell. You were all on one level, all saved by grace alone. She grace is greater. We buy with me some of you have never received this salvation in Christ some of your struggling with this matter. I ask you you you confess your sins, you see that we look to the Lord Jesus and asked him to come and save you into my heart into my heart come into my heart Lord Jesus come in today come in to stay come into my heart. Jesus, I believe you're the son of God died on the cross for my sins believe that you would put Aiden to rose again the living God come cleanse me and save me. We pray the prayer if you're not a believer in Jesus Christ live a life of grace a life of thankfulness. We ask it in Christ