Summary: This sermon looks at the workers in the marketplace waiting on someone to hire them. They are compared to Christians today.
The young man had just graduated from college and was at his first job interview. He was applying to be an accountant. Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked him, "What starting salary were you thinking about?" The young man replied, "In the neighborhood of $100,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, full medical and dental, Company Retirement Fund to 50% of your salary, Executive Share Option Scheme, Profit Related Pay and a company car leased every 2 years?"
The young man sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"
The interviewer replied, "Yes, but you started it."
We all desire to know our worth. Often we feel that we are not appreciated. We are not paid enough. We are not thanked enough. Sometimes we will even ask questions, not really seeking the truth, in hopes of getting an answer that will satisfy our self worth.
In Matthew 19 we meet such a man. He comes to Jesus and asks the question “What must I do to have eternal life?” He knew the answer. He was Jewish and had been taught the law his entire life. But he was looking for justification and praise.
Jesus answer was simple, “Keep the commandments.”
I could almost see the young man smile. “I have done that. Is there anything else?” He wasn’t seeking the truth but rather the approval of Jesus.
But Jesus throws him a curve ball. “Yeah. Go sell all your possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow me.” Not what he expected. He walks away sad, ashamed, and disgraced in front of those who heard the conversation.
Jesus tells his followers that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. A camel stands a better chance of going through the eye of a needle. But, through God, man’s salvation is possible.
Now Peter, being always observant, has a thought. If the young man had to get rid of everything to be a follower, then I must be highly favored. He was like the young accountant about to ask for a salary of $100,000.
He turns to Jesus and states, “We have left everything to follow you. What then will there be for us?” Like the young man, he’s not seeking the truth but rather the acclaims of Jesus. But Jesus sees through his motives and tells a parable.
Matthew 20:1-2 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.”
When Jesus told this story it was probably during the harvest time. The landowner had his year round workers who attended to the vineyards. But during harvest time extra workers would be needed. So he went to the market place at 6 am to look for those who were seeing employment due to not having a regular job. His desire was to harvest his crop in one day. For some reason he felt an urgency to do so.
When he got there at 6 am he found some strapping young men ready to work. They had gotten up early and prepared themselves for a full days work. He offered them enough to care for themselves and family for one day. They agreed and went to work.