Summary: It’s not about how much you do; it’s about whether or not you faithfully do what He asks.
GOD’S MEASURE OF GREATNESS
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
• 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?