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Summary: He came to serve others - Jesus our example - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

• (1). The Parable (vs 1-16).

• (2). The Announcement (vs 17-19).

• (3). The Mistake (vs 21-25)

• (4). The Example (vs 26-28)

SERMON BODY:

• If there is one word in the English language that is sure to cause a debate when spoken,

• That word is “greatest.”

• In fact, take two people, any people,

• And you can always stir-up trouble by using this simple word.

• i.e. Ask an England fan and a Brazilian fan who is the greatest football team,

• And watch the sparks fly.

• i.e. Ask two mechanics what is the greatest car ever made;

• And they will eagerly debate their opinion.

• i.e. Ask two people who the greatest prime minister or the greatest politician was,

• And they’ll chase that rabbit as long as they have breath to do so.

• i.e. Ask two Christians which is the greatest Bible translation.

• i.e. Or which is the greatest hymn book, or hymn?

• There is something about that word “greatest” that stirs something inside of us.

• Question: Why?

• Answer:

• Because greatness is something we aspire to, greatness is something we care about.

Ill:

• In 1715, Louis 14th of France died. Louis,

• Louis 14th called himself “the Great,” (Louis le Grand).

• His reign of 72 years and 110 days;

• Is the longest of any monarch of a major country in European history.

• He was the monarch who made the infamous statement “I am the State!”

• Meaning he was the absolute ruler;

• And he did not have to share the power to govern France with anybody else

His court was the most magnificent in all of Europe:

• And his funeral was spectacular.

• His body lay in a gold coffin.

• To dramatize the deceased King’s greatness,

• Orders had been given for the cathedral to be dimly lighted,

• With only one special candle set above his coffin.

• Thousands waited in hushed silence.

• Then Bishop Massilon began to speak.

• Slowly reaching down, he snuffed out the candle, saying; “Only God is great.”

• TRANSITION: ‘Only God is great’;

• Yet the irony of Christmas is that the great God humbled himself;

• And entered our world as a weak, feeble, frail, dependent baby!

• And thirty years later when that baby became a man and started a preaching ministry;

• Unlike King Louis who to paraphrase his words said;

• “I do not need anyone, I depend on no-one for I am greatest”

• This preacher who was also a King (King of Kings) could say:

• Matthew chapter 11 verse 29:

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

• Note: This is the only time in the gospels Jesus ever described his inner self;

• His character;

• And he did not choose to say he was great but rather humble!

• And Jesus practised what he preached;

• Because he did not expect people to be rushing around waiting on and serving him;

• The very opposite was true – he was the one doing the serving!

Notice: the context of this amazing saying of Jesus:

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,

but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

(1). The Parable (vs 1-16).

“‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 ‘About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the market-place doing nothing. 4 He told them, “You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” 5 So they went.

‘He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?”

7 ‘“Because no one has hired us,” they answered.

‘He said to them, “You also go and work in my vineyard.”

8 ‘When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.”

9 ‘The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 “These who were hired last worked only one hour,” they said, “and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.”

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