Presentation on theme: "WORK, WAGES & GENEROSITY IN GOD’S KINGDOM Matthew 20:1-16 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"— Presentation transcript:
WORK, WAGES & GENEROSITY IN GOD’S KINGDOM Matthew 20:1-16 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last. -vs 15-16
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Rom 6:23 Wages & EarningsGifts & Rewards It is so easy to slip into a “wage” mentality. We tend to want the “earn” and “deserve” God’s blessings. Why is it so hard to receive from God? To simply cooperate with His Grace?
Jesus clarifies with a master parable Typical event in His day – Grape harvest late Sept. – Many hands needed – A days wages = denarius – Workmen waited at the market. This was a real life story. The agreement was a day’s work for a day’s pay He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard – v 2 Workers in the vineyard
NOT EVERYONE STARTS AT THE SAME TIME …early in the morning… -v 1 About the third hour… - v 3 He went out again about the sixth hour… - v 5a …and the ninth… - v 5b About the eleventh hour he went out… - v 6
It’s a picture of how we all come into God’s Kingdom Some enter His Kingdom in the first blush of youth Others come in the strength of mid-day (mid-life) A few come in the shadows of the sunset years
Just as in the parable There are people in the market place who have not yet been recruited. The Master is still recruiting laborers And the Harvest is ripe.
There is a lesson for us here The Jews then Thought of themselves as a "favored nation" because they were chosen first. But in God's economy everyone is included equally. There is no “favor”. We in the church now May think that, because we have been members a long time, we have special privileges and more right to control policy and program. But in the Kingdom seniority does not gain privilege.
EVERYONE RECEIVES THE SAME ‘GIFT’ The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. – vs 9-10
Payment began with the last first Those who saw what was given the late-comers suddenly expected more. But to each was given the same... The generous master gave them all same wage a living wage
The lessons we learn are: We neither deserve nor earn what God generously gives. – Neither can we obligate God. – What God gives us is a “grace gift.” – If we will let Him, He will care for us -- giving us "daily bread“ and “Eternal Life.” A man's spirit becomes evident at times like these. – The first persons hired made a "contract" with the master (v 2). – The rest trusted the master to pay them "what was right." A persons spirit is revealed by what he comes to expect. – It is the paradox of the Christian life that anyone who aims at reward loses reward, and anyone who forgets reward finds reward.
It’s all in how we see it We might just as well feel privileged Instead of feeling jealous
It’s by God's grace that any of us has been included What we receive at days end is a matter of Grace, rather than Justice or fairness. – After all, who of us started doing God's will at the dawn of life? – Most of us are late comers, whoever we are. – But God's mercy grants us the full Gift! What a God! And What a privilege to serve Him.