Friday, January 29, 2010

Everyone is welcome

Matt 20:1-7: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a 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 said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?' 7 They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.'”

Jesus was telling His disciples a parable in response to a question that Peter had asked. Peter wanted to know what they were going to receive for leaving everything they had to follow Jesus. It is a legitimate question. In fact, Jesus said in Luke 14:28, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” He was saying there are some things you need to be my disciple. This parable is an answer to the question about the inheritance for being a Christ-follower. This wonderful gift of salvation was first for the Jews and at a later point will be open for anyone who wishes. Romans 10:13 says, “For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." This gift is now available for anyone.

The inheritance will not be different for the ones who surrendered their hearts earlier or to the person who gives their hearts to Jesus at the end of days. The parable Jesus used was to show there would be the same reward for everyone who enters the kingdom. The kingdom is open for everyone. The kingdom is not closed for either Jew or gentile. The awesome part of the Grace of God is that when His word says “whoever”, it means me. No matter how bad I am or what I have done in the past I am still invited to be a part of the kingdom of God. That is an awesome truth for today. I do not need to be a perfect person; in fact, nothing I can do is good enough to get me into heaven. It is only by God’s grace that I am extended an invitation. The good news is that I can be sitting in a jail cell, on a bar stool, in a crack house, or in a church pew, and I can know that Jesus’ invitation is for me. You cannot be too “bad” or wretched for the kingdom. The invitation to come under the gentile wing of the Father is there, and all you have to do is accept His invitation. You can choose to stay outside unprotected and vulnerable, but that is your choice. God will never force His will on you. He does, however, leave your eternal destiny in your hands.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Exod. 22-24 New Testament Matt 20:17-34

No comments:

Post a Comment