Verse 1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.”
Today we start a new parable excavation. Once again we have a parable that talks about the kingdom of heaven. We also have a parable that may give us a glimpse of ourselves that we may not want to see.
Let’s start with a look backwards at the conversation that happened prior to this parable to lay the footing for our story. At the end of Matthew 19 Jesus was telling His disciples about what awaited them in the new heaven and earth – seats on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. He also told them that everyone that made sacrifices of family and occupation because of Jesus will receive 100 times more than they gave up and eternal life. And then He said, “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
The world’s view of success is the opposite of what God views as success. His view of success is not based on man’s achievements but on Christ’s work on the cross. It would be easy for the disciples to fall into the trap of thinking that they were of more importance than others. Let’s face it, Jesus had hand-picked them. Even John and James' mother thought they should be more important than others (Matthew 20:20-21). Jesus needed them, and us, to know that the ways of the world are not the ways of heaven.
That brings us to our parable. Jesus once again gives His disciples a word picture to help them not only know, but remember. He needed them, and us, to get this truth that although we are to serve Him with abandon it should not be about gaining a reward as much as it is working wholeheartedly for the One who has chosen us to be His workers.
Jesus didn’t choose everyone in the world to carry the message of redemption and yet everyone that is chosen is to be carrying the Gospel. He didn’t call His disciples to just learn from Him, He had ongoing work for them to do. It is so easy to think that as long as we have received the gift of salvation we can live life as we have been. That is what a lot of preachers and teachers say but that isn’t what Jesus said. This week we will look at the deeper truths of what it means to be called by Jesus.
Making It Personal
Have you ever thought about how we, as Christians, each have a job to do? What has God chosen you to do? How important do you see yourself in the kingdom of God?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you have chores to do around your house? Why do you think your mom and dad give you jobs to do? Did you know that Jesus has jobs for us to do? What jobs do you think Jesus wants us to do?
Father, thank You for loving us enough to call us into Your kingdom. Give us the wisdom we need to fully do what You want us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.