Tell Us A Story – Of Perplexing Generosity

Tell Us A Story – Of Perplexing Generosity is the first sermon in our series on the parables of Jesus.  In the parable of the vineyard Jesus explores the concepts of fairness when it comes to the kingdom of heaven.  All of the workers received the same pay no matter how long they worked.

Was God fair?  We live in the times where there are no pensions anymore.  So jump into the laborers sweaty shoes.  You have worked not just the whole day, but your whole life.  You’ve gone through tough times, long nights.  The threats of layoffs.  You’ve seen coworkers let go just to make the shareholders happy.  Now this college kid shows up.  He can’t even do a good job.  He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.  Even though he’s got one year under his belt he is given the exact same retirement package as you.  No account for years of service!  No account for job description!  How is that fair?!  Listen to Jesus’ response. 13“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’  16“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

This is a great time to talk about the difference between grace and mercy.  Mercy is not giving someone the punishment that he or she deserves.  Grace is giving someone something – a reward – that he or she doesn’t deserve.

Talk about not fair!  God is doubly not fair.  Is he paying by the hour?  Are these guy salaried?  Are they getting paid by the job?  They aren’t getting paid for their work at all are they?  Ours is an extremely generous God.  God’s kingdom doesn’t work like the “real world”.  In God’s kingdom – a kingdom of grace – we aren’t paid for our service.  Our sins have earned us the wages of an eternity in hell.  We are compensated based on Jesus’ work.  Because of what Jesus has done all of us receive the same retirement package.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message – the first in our series ell Us A Story – Of Perplexing Generosity.

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