THE REWARD OF WILLINGNESS
May 28, 2000 pm
Matthew 19:16-20:1 And, behold,
one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that
I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?
is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into
life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou
shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal,
Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother:
and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto
him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus
said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come and follow me. But when the young man heard
that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then
said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall
hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man
to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they
were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld
them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with
God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold,
we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have
therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which
have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in
the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging
the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands,
for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting
life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall
be first. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is
an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into
Last week we turned to Matthew 19 and saw a thread of thought extending
from Jesus discussion about divorce amd marriage on into the picture of
the rich young ruler.
When Jesus told the young ruler to forsake all and follow Him, He saw the
man's refusal and went on to say that "in the regeneration" such people
who today are considered FIRST shall be LAST, as a rebuke
of the man's refual to follow.
The thought of union of man and woman in marriage continued into the thought
of Christ's words to the ruler instructing him to follow Him.
Spiritual union to Jesus is what is stressed, and not good works.
Forsake all and follow Jesus.
Unite to Him as part of the BRIDE, the Church.
Peter spoke up and noted that the Disciples did forsake all and follow
The rich man obviously wanted his status to remain.
He was a man of status.
He would not humble Himself and follow Christ.
The word regeneration means REBIRTH.
What would they receive, therefore?
Jesus said that they might be LAST in the eyes of the world then,
but they would be FIRST in the REGENERATION.
When is the REGENERATION?
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the
washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
The regeneration already began.
Being born again.
Right now the disciples have a place of prominence.
And the disciples are seated on thrones in the sense that the Church is
based upon the APOSTLES' DOCTRINE, and Jesus, Himself, the chief cornerstone.
The CHURCH is the ISRAEL OF GOD.
The apostles' doctrine judges our lives as christians!
Peter and Andrew immediately followed Jesus when He bade them come.
Because they willingly forsook all and followed Jesus.
Matthew 4:18-22 And Jesus, walking by
the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his
brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith
unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway
left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence,
he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his
brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he
called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and
James and John did likewise.
What a contrast to the rich young ruler!
And at the end of Chapter 19, Jesus said, "But many that are first
shall be last; and the last shall be first."
The issue was WILLINGNESS to follow Jesus.
Let us read this story noted by Jesus after the issue of the rich man's
refusal to follow Him, and learn how it explains His point.
And the next chapter begins saying, "For the kingdom of heaven is like
unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning
to hire labourers into his vineyard."
What we are reading is that Jesus is going to explain by way of illustration,
what He meant by saying, "many that are first shall be last; and
the last shall be first."
Matthew 20:1-16 For the kingdom
of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went
out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when
he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his
vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing
idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard,
and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again
he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about
the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith
unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him,
Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into
the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So
when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call
the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last
unto the first. And when they came that were hired] about the eleventh
hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed
that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man
a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the
goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour,
and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and
heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee
no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine
and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not
lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because
I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many
be called, but few chosen.
Everyone received the same wage.
When the master paid the servants, the same reward was given to the 11th
hour workers as to the first hour workers.
This ties up with....
Matthew 19:28-29 And Jesus said unto
them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration
when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall
sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And
every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or
father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake,
shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Those who come in FIRST place today, as far the world goes, will
be LAST in the Kingdom of God.
What is Jesus' point?
GOD DOES NOT PAY BY THE HOUR.
HE PAYS BY THE WILLINGNESS.
In the parable, the ones who worked all day were upset that they received
the same as those who only worked one hour.
The rich young ruler wanted prominence THEN.
And to follow Jesus would mean to lose that prominence amongst the town.
But it would have been 100 times greater for him later had he followed
The disciples now have that pre-eminence.
The issue is willingness to obey Jesus.
But take it from the 11th hour workers' perspective.
Had they known about it, they would have worked from the first hour also
Do not pass by that statement that they made.
It is important to reveal the point that Jesus made.
THEY WERE WILLING.
THE RICH YOUNG RULER WAS NOT WILLING.
THE DISCIPLES WERE WILLING.
If you have not known God for too long, but were completely willing to
do all His will whatever He desired, HE REWARDS YOU UPON THAT WILLINGNESS.
Some may be worldwide-known evangelists, while perhaps you are just an
usher in the Church.
But it is not your QUANTITY but QUALITY of willingness and work that God
The one who only had one talent was simply required to make one more talent.
Its not the one who runs the swiftest that wins this race.
Its the ones who willingly obey whatever Jesus wants!
The reason many are called but few chosen, is because many do not wish
to willingly heed the calling.
All of this illustrated what Jesus pointed out in the unwillingness of
the rich young ruler to follow Him.
Some think they are so much greater for being in Church for years, than
the new converts.
Its the willingness God looks for.
The disciples were so willing to do Jesus' will.
And it was the ones who were willing to work who were called FIRST
to be paid.
Matthew 20:8 So when even was come, the lord
of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them
their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
How is YOUR attitude towards God's will?
Let us search our hearts and see where we might be resisting the will of
Are you WILLING to do whatever His will is?
Or do you know what He asks and hesitate to do it, since you want to do
your OWN thing?
You will lose out in the end!
Are you resisting His will in some areas right now?
God's reward is based upon what you heard Him ask of you and how you
We must be willing to do whatever the Word of God teaches.
Because we love Him.
Are we humble enough to admit we are wrong?
We know what He wants.
But we do not want to respond willingly and obey.
We are not built on the Rock.
We are built on sand, when we are not willing to HEAR HIS WORD AND DO IT.
We are built on our OWN self-interest.
Many older saints think the whipper-snappers of the youth group
have nothing on them.
Will we apologize to those whom we wronged?
Even if we have to go to the one hating us, although we are right, in order
to make things right, we must!
Jesus told us to go to our brother if our brother is offended at us.
Do not wait for him to come if he was the one who wronged you.
YOU GO FIRST.
How WILLING are you to do that kind of will of God?
When Baptism is preached from the Bible, why do people resist it and shun
What reward will the youth get compared to the ones in the Church for years?
THE REWARD OF WILLINGNESS.
Some "harsh-attituded" elderly people may be surprised when they get no
reward for being so self-righteous, and sneering on those who did not know
as much as they did.
ITS OUR ATTITUDES that He judges.
ITS OUR HEARTS.
I have seen "saints" in the Church whom one could more properly call "ain'ts".
Their attitudes were awful.
I wondered how that in all the years that they were in Church, they never
learned to have a godly attitude.
They strove to know more of the Bible, but they tremendously lacked godliness
and godly attitudes.
If you are willing to do whatever He asks then you will be greatly rewarded.
They are not willing to do God's will.
You not only are building on a Rock, hearing and DOING the Word, but becoming
heir to great rewards.
Jesus said, "Not my will but thine be done."
Let us do the same!
If we refuse, and wish to do OUR own thing, and remain FIRST, LOOKING OUT
FOR NUMBER ONE, then we shall find that THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST.