Summary: Jesus’ parable of the vineyard was a stern warning to the Jewish religious leaders of His day. It is also a warning we should heed lest our seat in His kingdom be given to someone else.

-Has it ever happened to you?

-Have you ever “lost” something that “belonged” to you?

-I don’t mean “lost” and “belonged” in the same way you are thinking

-I really mean, has somebody ever given something that you thought should be yours to somebody else instead

-How did that feel? Probably about the same as really losing an item

-No, it was probably worse, wasn’t it?

-In my experiences like that, it was always worse

-Last year, at the basic chaplain’s course I thought that I should have won at least one or two of the three awards they give out at the end of the course

-I knew I was in the running for but was not a lock to win the distinguished graduate award for top academic score

-However, I thought for sure I should have either won the athletic award or the award for the top chaplain for our deployment to Tyndall

-I absolutely blew everybody away in the PT tests at the beginning and end of the course. Nobody was even close. However, one guy got a lot of extra points for running gobs of miles every night while I was trying to nurse my Achilles tendons back to health. He ended up winning the award.

-I was the class president for our class so I was in charge of our class. On our exercise day during our deployment to Tyndall, I was in charge of one of the teams until they starting killing people off. With my extensive military background, I was head and shoulders above everybody else in taking care of business during the week and especially during the exercise.

-However, I lost out on my shot at the award when I let it be known that the week long deployment was both a waste of time and money since it was some of the worst training that I had ever been a part of. That’s saying a lot since I’ve served in the National Guard for three years.

-To see less qualified people walk away with hardware that I had worked sufficiently hard for, at least in my mind, and lose it because I had criticized a poor program hurt

-But it did more than hurt, it made me mad

-It was wrong

-I had been robbed

-I’m sure you felt ripped off too


-Why did we react that way?

-It never belonged to us. Nobody took it away from us. It never belonged to us. We weren’t even asked to watch it for awhile. {PAUSE}

-You’ve probably seen some video of parents at sporting events (mostly football games) get way too bent out of shape over a meaningless game

-It’s shocking to us. We’d never act that way. But it’s not meaningless to them. See we are capable of the same stupidity that drives them to start fighting with referees or coaches or come out onto the field to hurt a kid that they felt wronged their child

-Think about how silly I got over a couple of pieces of medal and plastic

-I know I’m capable of it and you are too

-But really why do we act that way?

-Because we are selfish

-Because we think that what we have belongs to us

-Because we think that what we have, we have worked for

-We think that we are entitled {PAUSE}

-That’s really the problem that some of the Jewish people of Jesus day had

-It’s really the problem that the religious leaders had

-It probably trickled down to some others as well

-What we see in this parable, as well as the one on either side of it, is a people who are resting on their laurels.

-They are content to be children of Abraham, waiting to inherit the promise of a never-ending kingdom but never having to lift a finger to even keep it going much less extend it’s influence

-What are you doing to extend the influence of Christ in your part of the globe?

-Maybe you are praying for some friends, neighbors, coworkers or family members who don’t know Christ

-That’s good

-Have you ever invited them to come to chapel? More than once? Keep asking them.

-I remember the story about a man in another country who would ask his neighbor to join him for church every week and every week his neighbor would spit in his face. He went on for seventeen years inviting his friend to church. Finally, the neighbor said, “You’ve been coming to my house every week for seventeen years and I’ve spit in your face every week. Why do you keep coming back?” And then the man shared how much God loved him demonstrated by what Jesus Christ has done for us.

-Are you willing to have somebody spit in your face every week for seventeen years? Why not?

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