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The Parables of Jesus: A Matter of Generosity, Not Just Desserts

Chris Buttery
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What do we get for following God? That was the questions asked by Peter, one of Jesus disciples. Interestingly, Jesus answered him, and He answers all those who have and still ask the same question. In this message on the parable of the eleventh hour workers, Pastor Chris Buttery shows the incredible generosity of our Heavenly Father.

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  • October 25, 2014
    11:30 AM
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Well this morning I'd like to begin by telling you a story and it's a story that very likely. You have heard before. It's a story of an only known man who owned a vineyard and. He was in need of workers to help him in his work and so it didn't matter whether the work needed was to weed or to water or to prune or to harvest. All the workers were just needed to come and help in his vineyard so he went to the market place. Early in the morning. Where he found individuals. Looking for employment. He found some. Pick them up and went to work for that day. Well apparently the owner. Needed more help. And so around nine o'clock in the morning he went back to the market to find a few more individuals who are not afraid to work. He found again found some and went back to his vineyard. But as before the owner found that the work. To be done far exceeded the workers that he had. And so we went back again at noon. And then he went back again at three o'clock. And lastly he went back and. Hour before the end of the work day at five P.M. to pick up some more work is now the first workers that he picked up. They were told that they would be paid a full day wage for the full day's work that they would put in while the others were told that they would get an amount. And the amount that they would get. It would be fair. They would be treated fairly So just trust me the owner said I'll make sure you're paid fairly. So as the sun was setting. And the owner called on his accountant. To pay Ole of the employees. And of course they're all anxious to see if the owner would live up to his word and. Deliver what he promised a day's wage for some. And whatever was fair. Full of the others. The first group was policed of course when the Treasurer. Gave to each they promised amount but their happiness. Turned to hopping when all the other employees. Were paid the same amount they were paid. But for less work. There were pretty limited. I plucked up the courage to question the owners judgment. And apparently apparent unfairness in paying more to those who work less than they did. But how could it be that everyone received the same pray for varying amounts of time put into the work. Wasn't really fair. For the owner. To pay. Each employee. The same amount. Now although perhaps not a true story. It's one that Jesus told. Jesus told it. Just days away from his betrayal. And his death. And what. Encouraged him to tell the story by the way the story is found in Matthew twenty say. You're welcome to turn they have Matthew twenty. This story is so important that inspiration guided the writers and guided those who put these books together. To record this story three times you can find it in Matthew. In mock and also in The Gospel According to Luke. What was it. That led Jesus to tell this story about a vineyard owner who went out. Throughout the course of the day to pick up different workers and they all receive the same pay. What can of worms. Opened up that led Jesus to tell this another. Profound a parable. Well he had just in Chapter nineteen of Matthew Jesus. Had been approached by a rich young ruler now we derive that he was rich. We derive that he was young and we derive that he was a rule from the three accounts of the stories recorded in the Gospels. And he approached Jesus with the question you can read the question in my. In Matthew Chapter nineteen. And verse sixteen he said good musta. What. Good thing. Shall I do that I may have eternal life. That was the question that this rich young ruler came to Jesus with. What good thing. Shall I do that I may have eternal life to his question was sin see it is a question. Was earnest and he obviously had a desire to know the truth. His salutation to Jesus. Good it musta. Was also very was pretty curious for no one of that time in that culture. The two words together a must have was a must. And according to the mission only God was good. You never joined the two words together. Good master the master was a master. But only God. Was good. So perhaps this young man was making a declaration of his faith. Covertly not wanting too many to to know his. His position regarding Jesus. So the question was asked and then Jesus goes on to explain what it means to enter into life. Presently and into eternal life and what was Jesus. According to verse seventeen. He said. Keep the commandments. If you want. Eternal life. Keep the commandments keep them. You see. Now. Apparently from the young rule is response I've kept all these things from my youth up. What do I still lack. He was pretty sure that he was probably one step away from perfection. But although he had diligently. By aid. The letter of the law. He obviously felt there was still something lacking still something. Not quite right in his life. Even though he had lived an exemplary life in not stealing from anyone at all taking anyone's wife or. Their life. He didn't truly love his fellow man. As much as himself. He was obedient to the letter. Of the law. Not. The Spirit. So if he really wanted to be perfect because Jesus said If you want to be perfect obviously that was his desire. Perfection if you really want to be perfect. Which had been his goal it couldn't be attained through works. Or through his own merit. He needed to experience a true change of hot. A true change of life. His mind needed to be. Transformed his objectives needed to be changed. He needed. Selfishness bottom line he needed selfishness. Eradicated from his life. He needed to give what he had to the poor. Jesus said and then take up your cross and follow me. All prompted by supreme love and Raghad for God. It's a tall order. It's a tall order. And with a lot of sadness. And this rule we're told walked away from Jesus realizing that the true cost of discipleship. Was much more than he himself could ban. Now from verses twenty three through thirty. After this encounter that Jesus had with the rich young ruler. Jesus describes the ATA impossibility of someone who treasures riches. Or for anything for that matter more than love for God How does. Jesus do that. He gives the illustration of a camel. Going through the eye of a needle impossible. And this statement of Jesus. That is impossible for someone who is rich to enter into heaven. As difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven as it is for a camel to go through the. The needle. That troubled them. Because in their hearts and in their minds they were striving for was to remember for supremacy they wanted to be number one in the kingdom of God. They believe Jesus was going to establish an earthly kingdom. And they were going to be next to him and they would then be wealthy and powerful. And this troubled them. Much Hotta for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Just like it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. They struggled together over who would be the greatest. And they feel good. But Jesus might be lumping them in this category. But Jesus as he often loves to do provided hope. With the powerful words recorded in verse twenty six. He said With men this is impossible but with God. How many things are possible. All things. Possible with God It's a wonderful promise. While it would be impossible for anyone. In on and. In and of themselves to free them from the grip of sin or from from. Covetousness or whatever it would be God could do it. If they would just let him have their hearts. What was impossible for man. Was possible for God Jesus of course isn't. Denouncing having lots of money he's just saying that some people who have it. End up worshipping it. And they end up wanting more. And it becomes very difficult for that individual to put God first so we're encouraged perhaps by this thought in the promise of that conditional treasure. He talked about Peeta Peeta as he so frequently did as shewn the spokes person position. And in verse twenty seven. He said to Jesus look. We've left everything. And we've followed. Therefore. What shall we have. What shall we have. Now when Peter said that we've left everything. To follow you this was no of a statement. The disciples had truly. Left everything that was familiar to them to learn of Jesus. Something. The Roula didn't do the rich young ruler didn't do Jesus. He must have thrilled the disciples when they learned of the hundredfold blessing. In this life. Which was an illusion of the joy of Christian fellowship. And the satisfaction that comes with the service of God. Remember Paul speaks of those things he said I have no I have nothing. Yet I possess all things. That's what Jesus is saying here. You receive one hundred full blessing in this life. The blessings of. The joy of Christian fellowship. And the blessings of serving God. And also you are saved Jesus said the gift of eternal life. Gift of eternal life will be granted to those who are willing to say call. To follow Jesus. And it's a wonderful wonderful assurance. A wonderful thing Jesus. States right here in the. Twenty eight. And in verse twenty nine he explains the promise. Yes you've left everything. And you want to know what you're going to receive. You're going to receive a lot of blessings in this life. And you're going to receive the promise of eternal life. Wonderful promise but. But Jesus didn't end there. He concluded his thoughts in verse thirty. But many who are not first will be last and the last. Will be first. Not everyone who has the appearance. Jesus says. Not everyone has the appearance of being first will be. Or being first in heaven will be. They might be the last ones heaven would consider opening the gates to however. However those who appear. The least worthy. Would be considered. First. Now this also has a deeper meaning. What Jesus is saying here. At a deeper meaning for the disciples themselves. Peter's question What shall we have therefore revealed. I Wrong attitude or wrong spirit. When it came to. Serving Jesus when it came to following Jesus. And if it was left on corrected. It would not prepare the disciples. For service with. Jesus. They still worked with the thought in mind of. Meriting reward. In proportion to their labor. They cherish the spirit of. Ego tism. That strove for recognition. They were still in the bad habit of comparing themselves. With others. For example when one of them failed or failed in something. The other. Indulged in feelings of superiority. If were up to us. We could have done the job better. Maybe Jesus one choosing to sit next to him when he sets up his new kingdom. But I will. Because I could have done the job better. So to be sure that you. And I the disciples. Get the point. About the last being first in the first being lost Jesus tells a story. The one that we began. The message with here this morning. Matthew chapter twenty. And verse one. Jesus said For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning. To hire. Laborers. For his vineyard. Now it was the habit of certain individuals looking for employment. To wait at the market for an opportunity to work opportunity. The owner. In the parable. Simply represents God. And represents his dealings with humanity. His dealings with humanity. He is seen this owner is seeing going in and out. At different intervals of the day trying to engage. Labors new employees. Those who are hired first. Agree to the work for a stated amount. And those who are hired Lyta. Leave their wages to the discretion of the vineyard owner. Now there's an important thing that I want to pass over here and it's very very crucial. Very important. The owner. Needed work. That's very obvious from the story I meant. The owner. Needed. Workers. Everyone who wanted to work was employed. This is. This is a parable about what the kingdom of heaven is like. So it's about the kingdom of heaven if it's about the church. Then you and I want to sit up and pay attention to what lessons can we learn here. This parable tells me that there is a place for everyone who wants to work in the vineyard. If they want to do the work. Everyone who wishes to do something for Jesus can find a place to serve. It doesn't matter what age you are. What height. You are. What color you are. What gender you are what talents you bring. God is not so much concerned with hiring those who are equipped to work but equipping those who want to work. You don't have to have all the requisite talent. To do something for Jesus. Just need to have a willing heart I meant. That's it. God doesn't care what your background has been. Well where you've been all he wants to know is if you will go out for him and work. In his vineyard. That's what he wants irrespective of your limitations of time. Of your limitations on gifts or your ability. Jesus will use you. If you are simply. Willing. That's it. Let's go on with the story. That doesn't end there. Their work is needed in the vineyard look at those two. Now when he agreed with the laborers that's those that were employed at the beginning part of the day. When he had agreed with the laborers for dineros a day. He sent them into the vineyard. Those three. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. And he said to them. You also go into the vineyard and what. Whatever is right I will give you. So they went. Again he went out about the sixth. And the ninth hour. And did likewise. And about the eleventh hour. He went out and found others standing idle. And said to them. Why have you been standing here idle all day. And they said to him because no one hired us. And he said to them. You also go into the vineyard and whatever is right. You will receive. So the owner realizes the owner realizes that he needs more workers throughout the day and he's able to find more willing individuals to lay before him. He doesn't tell them what he will pay them. All only that. Only that the price. The pay will be fair. And a poem that would they all sign up. The work is cold at different. Hours of the day. All these workers in the parable all cold at different Alice of the day. And all these workers represent all those who have been called all God's children men and women boys and girls. For the sharing. And the proclamation of the gospel. Not only does it represent those today. But in a special sense they represent. All those who've gone before. And toiled for our Lord. In ages past. To Israel neglected their God given assignment. Jesus turned to the church. To bear the message to the world. And so men and women boys and girls of centuries past. Have a little the world with the light that shines from the Gospel as it shared it with people and wives. All these workers cold. Throughout different parts of the Christian history. All these workers have been employed. All throughout time. Right up till this time. And then you come to the eleventh hour. Eleventh hour workers. And who are thy eleventh hour workers represents those who will come into the truth. In this last hour. Of Earth's history. Jesus is speaking prophetically here. Some of you are wondering why are we talking about a parable like this is has nothing to do with the last days nothing to do with in time. Hold on a second hole and second number one. Jesus told us so it's important I meant. The Gospel right as. Three of them recorded it. So that makes it important to get out attention as well. But Jesus told this parable. He was looking down the ages and he knew there would be an eleventh hour. He would knew prior to the clock striking Minot. Prior to his return. There would be an eleventh hour. They would be a time when men and women boys and girls would still be needed to work in His vineyard and so the eleventh hour work is in a special sense. Represent all of those who come into the truth of the three angels messages. In the last hour of work. Knowing that their time of service is short. They feel. Undeserving of the reward. But. Filled with joy that God is except of the them. They all do the work with. All they've got that God has intrusted to them they work with a humble. With a thankful. Trusting spirit and. They counted a privilege to become laborers to. With God. Let's continue the story because it's not done notice. Those state. So when the evening had come. The owner of the vineyard said to his steward Cole the laborers and give them their wages. Beginning with the last. To the first post nine. And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour. They each received a denarius. As ten. But when the first came they supposed that they would receive more. And they likewise received each. At an heiress. So the owner coals the Treasurer. In to give all the work is. Gather them together. To give them their day's pay. And amazingly. Every single one receives the same wage. And of course you know which group had a problem with that right. You know as human nature is supreme to do that begin to winge and they begin to complain. And they question the wisdom of the owners decision verse eleven and twelve. And wouldn't choose. But it's interesting that during their pity party. They actually forgot that what they picked up. When they got picked up for work by the owner of the vineyard they were happy. They were happy. One. To get work. And number two for the pay. That they were off it. But now all they felt deserving of more. Intitled to a greater reward. Was it reasonable to be so demanding. Of the owner. You know there are some Christians too. Who have moved gradually away from feelings of extreme on and to be a part of the Body of Christ. Being counted worthy to even touch. God's work feeling overwhelmed. To be freely granted a place in the family of God and in the service of God. Now what is saying is that to choose of entitlement. Acknowledgment for a surface. Rendered in the past you need to. You need to you need to applaud me. You to. You need to pat me on the back for all the things that I've done. No longer sing. Once. Hard work that was infused with a humble. Trusting spirit thankful for the privilege of being on it. To be a coworker. With Jesus Christ. Now what do you get. You get preferential treatment is expected in the work is taken up. If at all with a self-congratulatory spirit. Without the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. While it may be true that these individuals might have enjoyed hardship. Some privation some trials and therefore entitled to applause. I think more of the reward than the privilege of being a servant of Christ. Someone said once that have there is no place. There is no room in heaven for anyone who desires the crown more than Bearing the Cross in Christ optical essence page four hundred in their view their labors and sacrifices entitle them to receive on above others and because this claim is not recognized. They get offended. It reveals their desire for self advancement their distrust of God their jealous grudging spirit toward their brethren. The Lord's goodness and liberality is to them only an occasion of murmuring. There is nothing more offensive to God than this narrow. Self caring spirit. He cannot work with any one who manifests these attributes saying quote. This is an important message. Jesus is talking about the eleventh hour work as. Those who will be laboring prior to Jesus coming. And this will be the attitude. In some respects in some corners of God's Church. Thinking they deserve. Applaud and praise. Thinking they deserve more than they have been receiving. Was it reasonable for them to be demanding. Of the owner. Was it reason. Well for them. No they simply expected more because they didn't understand the basis on which the payment was made. And I notice those that look with me here we've got a close up now. But he answered one of them and said Friend I'm doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius. Take what is yours and go your way I wish to give you this. I wish to give to this last man the same as you. As to you is a not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things or is your eye evil because I'm good. So the last will be first. And the first last for many a cold. But few are chosen here. The owner explains his actions being merely. Entirely a matter of generosity. And not just desserts. Not just desserts. He rewarded not according to the amount of work done all the time put in. But according to the generosity of his purpose. Romans Chapter four verse fourteen with me there. Romans four verse four notice. What Paul wrote here about God's grace. Romans chapter four in verse four. Notice what he says here. Talking about Abraham. ROMANS fall for Paul road. Now to him. Who would now say him who works the wages are not counted as Grace. But as well as dead. According to the Bible any reward. That. We received at the hand of God. Is reckoned according to polls reckoned of what friends. Of Grice. Is reckoned of grace all offered an extended purely on the basis of God's generous. Generous purposes. If we received a reward based upon the work we did. All the time that we put into it. All the results that we acquired them that would make God identity to me. To us. That's what poll saying here. He would make him a debtor to us. That would mean God knows us something is that the case. Oh no not at all. We'd be sorry if we got what we really deserve of wouldn't we surely. But their award given is not based upon what we have done but upon God's. Graciousness. That's it. And it is this grace that should motivate us. And spur a song. To proclaim the message when we remember it is by grace. That we have been saved. When we realize it is still by grace. That we are being saved. That it is by grace that we labor. And by God's grace that we receive our award. Knowing this should be the reason for our willing. Our faithful and earnest response of a faith. That works by love in the service of the lot I meant. Is that which drives us on. In quest of the lessons page four hundred two she says it is not the length of time we labor. But our willingness and fidelity. In the work. That makes it acceptable to God. The smallest. Duty. You don't have to be a missionary to some country. You don't even have to be a Maza the smallest Judy done in sincerity and self forgetfulness. Is more pleasing to God than the greatest work when Ma was self-seeking. He looks to see how much of the spirit of Jesus we cherish. And how much of the likeness of Christ. Our works. Reveal. He regards more. The love and faithfulness with which we work. Than the amount we do the. In that we are yoked up with Jesus. Should sweeten the toilet should brace the will. And move the spirit for whatever might happen as we serve the Lord of Glory What a joy to serve Christ amen. What a joy to serve Jesus all because of grace. Was deserving of all that. That's why it's called Grace. We're not deserving to be linked up to be called fellow laborers to that. To our God to be ambassadors for the cause of all we know worthy. But it's of grace. That Jesus has called us. To toil and to labor for him. As I close the story was told of a beggar who was by the roadside and he was asking for alms. Of Alexander the Great. The Grecian King. His walking by and the man was poor and he was wretched and he had no claim whatsoever. Upon the Roula. No right. Even to lift up a solicitous hand. And yet the Emperor. Threw him several gold coins. Mukherjea. That was with Alexander the Great was astonished he was amazed at the generosity of Alexander the Great he commented so. Cup a coin means would adequately meet a beggar's need a copper coins Why do you give gold cup of Koreans. Would have adequately met a bet is a beggar as they why give him gold. And Alexander responded in royal fashion. Copper coins would suit the beggars. Need. The gold coins. Suit. My giving. So to God rewards. According to the generosity of his purpose and friends. It's cold. GRICE. It's cold. Gricean a matter how short our service or humble our work. If in simple faith we follow Christ we will not ever be disappointed with the reward. That Jesus chooses to give to us. What the greatest and the wisest. Cannot in the weakest. And the most humble. Oversee how great will be the reward of grace. To the work for God. In the simplicity of fighting this media was brought to you by audio verse. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermon or leave a visit. W.W.W.. Audio verse or.

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