RAP SHEET 2/6/22
Sermon: Pay Gap
Scripture: Matthew 19:30 - 20:16
ICE BREAKER: What was your first paying job?
This week we looked at the parable of the workers in the Vineyard. The parable starts with Jesus proclaiming the great Gospel reversal:
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
This sets us up to understand the simple story that follows. A Vineyard owner hired workers at dawn. The workers struck a hard bargain and would not work for less than one Denarius - a full day's wage.
Throughout they day, the owner went back into the marketplace and hired more workers. He hired some at 9am, noon, 3pm, and even hired a group at 5pm which is one hour before the workday ends.
At quitting time, the owner first called up those hired at 5pm and paid them one Denarius - a full day's wage! They could not believe it! The men hired at dawn assumed this meant they would receive 12 Denarius since they had worked 11 more hours than the 5pm crew; however, they were sorely mistaken. When it came time to receive their payment they only got the one Denarius they had bargained for.
When is the last time you felt like you were treated unfairly compared to those around you?
Have you ever felt like God was not treating you equitably compared to others?
Many read this story and get lost in the details. They try to find the meaning of the 5 different groups hired at 5 different times. The truth is, this isn't about 5 GROUPS of PEOPLE - it is about 2 very different TYPES of RESPONSES!
The crew hired at Dawn were the only ones to turn down the owner's offer, "come work in my field and I will pay you what is right." Instead, they negotiated to ENSURE they would get what they felt ENTITLED to. This began what we are calling the "Entitlement Track." It goes like this:
Entitlement LEADS TO Expectations which LEADS TO Envy.
When we feel like we are owed something in life (or by God), we set expectations that MUST be met for us to be happy with the outcome. The question we must ask is: Where did my expectations come from? Usually Expectations stem from a sense of Entitlement!
The early crew did not trust the owner to give them enough so they contractually obligated him to pay them what they wanted. In doing so, they actually LIMITED the owners ability to be generous towards them. This caused Envy. Jealousy is rooted in comparison to other people as seen through the lens of our expectations.
The King responded to the envious servants and asked: "ARE YOU JEALOUS BECOME I'M GENEROUS?"
He saw their Envy and understood that it was rooted in expectations that only existed in their entitled minds. There is a real danger in feeling like we are owed something. It can shift how we view everything that happens in our lives!
What expectations might you be putting on God?
What do you feel entitled to as a follow of Jesus?
To understand how we are supposed to operate as members of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, we look to the other response to the vineyard owner. When he offered work and promised to pay what was right, people SUBMITTED and trusted he would do what was right!
The activates the Purpose Path. It is the direct opposite of the Entitlement Track!
Submission LEADS TO Service which LEADS TO Satisfaction
This is the point Jesus was trying to make. The first shall be last and the last will be first. Those who treat God like the boss in their corporation - jockeying for position and negotiating for benefits - those are the entitled individuals who will miss out on the true generosity of the King! These are the earthly "FIRST" who fin themselves coming up short in the Upside Down Kingdom of Jesus.
Those who are willing to Submit to whatever Jesus asks of them, will then serve Him without expectation and ultimately be satisfied when they receive their blessings.
When we feel spiritually entitled we say and think things like:
-I'll serve you God, BUUUTT....
-If I do this good deed, I'd better get.....
-God why aren't you acting, remember when I (prayed, attended, read scripture, gave money, etc)...
Do not trade in the Destiny God wants for you for the Denarius you think you are Entitled to!
Here is this week's APPLICATION QUESTION:
What is ONE WAY you are on the Entitlement Track and what is ONE THING you can specifically do to choose Submission and Service this week?
In other words, how can you submit YOUR expectations and trade them for simply trusting that God has what you need?
PRAY: Submission is a challenge! It goes against our culture and some of our hardwiring as humans. Ask God to show you the areas where you are operating out of entitlement. Let the Holy Spirit know you want to be aware of how and when you are trying to negotiate with God. Lean on Jesus for strength to submit to whatever and wherever he is leading you to.