Heaven Comes to Earth, pt5
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4 and to those he said, ‘You go into the vineyard also, and whatever is right, I will give you.’ And so they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group to the first.’ 9 When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10 And so when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day’s work and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go; but I want to give to this last person the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last shall be first, and the first, last.”
There is a lot of movement in this parable. Primarily, what Jesus is dealing with here is an attitude. He tells the whole story to deal with the attitude in verse 15: Is your eye envious because He is generous?
Life is not fair, but God is just. When we stand before God, the measure that He judges is His, and everything will be made right. In life, we have to be careful not to judge other people’s promotion or blessing with any kind of envy.
Rejoice with Others
One of the things the parable is teaching is that we should rejoice with people who are being blessed beyond us. The guys who were hired first, early in the morning, worked all day long through the heat of the day, and they were given what was promised. If you follow God and you do what is right, you will receive what was promised. You will have no complaints of the Lord.
At the last minute, the landowner found more laborers who worked an hour. He paid them a full day’s wage in front of everyone (as if to show it off). Jesus is getting to the root cause here. He is talking to people who are struggling with seeing non-Jewish people get blessed and to the Pharisees who are struggling with Jewish people who didn’t uphold all of the rituals get blessed.
When we see others getting blessed, we have a choice. We can complain and question why they are getting blessed and why we aren’t getting more. But that attitude is not going to get you too far down the road. Comparing yourself to other people will never be a winning proposition. Instead, we can praise God that they are getting blessed and that we are being blessed as well. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Our reward is coming too, and God will not cheat us. Our perspective could be gratitude that we got to work for the Master all day long when others just got a few hours to work for Him. How blessed are we? It’s about the heart.
Ministry is not a Position
When Jesus went to the laborers who had been standing around for a few hours, He asked why they were still standing there. They responded that no one had hired them. Real ministry does not have to do with being hired. Being hired, having a position, is not the reason for doing ministry. The reason is that it is a privilege to work for God. If you are waiting to be hired, waiting for someone to create a position for you, that is the wrong mentality. The mentality should be that you are going to go and do something and make yourself inexpendable. If you walk in that attitude, the enemy can’t get you to compare yourself to others, to put other people down to lift yourself up, or get you to disregard the work you are doing.
God blesses work. God blesses the laborer in the vineyard. God calls people to work, and God blesses people’s work. He tells us the first will be last, and the last will be first. That is His sorting out. That is His doing. Those are the things that are not within our control. What is in our control is to get up, go out, and do it.
Plenty of Blessing
God does not have to take blessing from someone else to give it to you. Nor does He have to take it away from you to bless someone else. The all-day laborers saw the latter worker getting the same wages they did, but that did not get taken from their wages. They didn’t get less. The other person just got more. When you see someone being blessed, you weren’t cheated. If you live your life like that, you will be able to bless other people as well.
Count it as a privilege to labor for the Lord, and know that He will keep His promise to you.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!