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Summary: It’s not about how much you do; it’s about whether or not you faithfully do what He asks.

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Text: Matthew 19:30 – 20:16


• Chapter 19, 20 Jesus addresses God’s measure of greatness in His kingdom

• 19:3 – 12 (Pharisees; divorce) Greatness not based upon the strictness of our religious beliefs

• 19:16 – 26 (Rich young ruler) Greatness not based upon our prominence or possessions in this life

• What is God’s measure of greatness?

A. The Problem

• Landowner must harvest crops; goes looking for workers

• 6 am “First” workers agree to work 12 hours for a full day’s wages

• Finds more workers at 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm and tells them that they will be paid what is right (expected a portion of a full day’s pay)

• “Last” workers hired at 5 pm (expected a fraction of a day’s pay)

• Jewish law = pay given at the end of day

• “Last” workers paid first – full day’s pay

• Implies that other workers also received full day’s pay

• “First” workers receive full days pay, but expect more

• Landowner declares that they were paid fairly and that He has the right to be generous if He wants to

B. The People

• The Landowner = God

o Has unlimited resources (Psalm 50:7 – 12)

o Seeks workers for His vineyard (Matthew 9:37, 38)

• The Laborers = Believers

o It’s God’s plan that we work in His kingdom (Ephesians 2:8 – 10)

o Everyone has a job to do (1 Corinthians 15:58)

C. The Point

• 19:30; 20:16

• Greatness in God’s Kingdom is not based upon how much you do, but rather upon if you were faithful in doing what God asks of you

• Each group of workers did what they were asked

• “First” workers thought it was unfair

• People who are busy sometimes develop an “I deserve more” attitude

• Everyone got the same amount, which was more than they deserved (vv. 13, 14)

o Landowner was not obligated to hire any of them

• The pay was based upon the generosity of the Landowner, not the accomplishments of the workers (v. 15)

• God is not obligated to save any of us, and is certainly not obligated to give any of us eternal life

• Eternal life is a gift of God based upon his grace and generosity (Romans 6:23b; 2 Corinthians 9:15)


• Have you fallen into the “I deserve more” syndrome?

• Jealous of God’s blessings on other “lesser” Christians?

• Think that God owes you because of the work you do for Him?

• Anything you do for God is your reasonable service anyway (Luke 17:7 – 10)

• You’ll receive your reward along with every other Christian

• Last will be first; first will be last = everyone gets same

• It’s not how much you do; it’s whether or not you were faithful in doing what He asks (1 Corinthians 4:1, 2)

• What is God asking you to do?

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