6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This Parable shows how outrageous the grace of God is and no one is excluded without first being included

Parable 14 - Laborers in the Vineyard

When we were students in Los Angeles we used to go down to the beach with friends for a BBQ

• at the time the big rage in drinks was wine-coolers

• Being Australian and a little ignorant of brands in California, one day we bought a cheap bottle of wine from the Gallo vineyard to mix with our 7Up

• Well that was a mistake. Although it is one of the biggest wine brands in the world, this particular ones claim to fame was based on price not quality

• Fortunately or unfortunately, there was a street person hanging around looking lustfully at our half finished bottle

• He didn’t really care about the quality and gladly accepted it

In contrast to the Gallo brand, there is another major wine producer in California, Robert Mondavi

• It is much better quality

• I’m about to read you a story where these two brands are mentioned

Before we do I need to make a couple of points

• so far as we have gone through the Parables of Jesus, we have looked at his Parables of the Kingdom, the Parables of Grace and now we turn our attention to the Parables of Judgment

• unfortunately, these Parables of Judgment which usually end up with someone being cast into outer darkness, have been misused as a club to motivate Christians to toe the line or else

• For instance Sermons on the Parable of the separation of the Sheep from the Goats has made many misbehaving kids sit up in church and take notice

• But we should not forget that the same Jesus who told these Parables of Judgment also told the Parables of grace

So before we launch into the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, we need to say a few worlds about Judgment

• everyone loves John 3:16, but the rest of the passage deserves more attention than it gets

John 3:17 (NKJV) 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 12:47, For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it"

John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

• Contrary to what we may have been taught, God is not mad at the world, as v.16 says, For God so loved the world

• God loves all his children and wants to save every last one of us.

• Anyone who would give the life of his Son for us is serious about how much He loves us

• The truth is Jesus doesn’t need to judge us, the law has already done that, this is the same law Jesus said he came to uphold

• The purpose of the law is to magnifies our sin – Paul, Rom 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."

• Sinners need a Savior so the law becomes our schoolmaster, takes us by the hand and leads us to the one we need for salvation

• But scripture clearly tells us Jesus has lifted the curse of the law and given us a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light

• However if we insist on standing on what the law demands rather than Christ’s righteousness, we remain under the judgment of the law and will be condemned

• Gal 5:11 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

• So the predominant theme that comes through each of these parables is a loving God leaning over backwards to save rather than a God ready to condemn

A second theme that comes through these parables is one of inclusion before exclusion

• In other words Jesus is at pains to show that no one is ever kicked out into outer darkness who wasn’t already included

• Parable of the King’s son wedding Matt 22:1-14, not having the wedding garment, already invited

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