Jesus said, “The Kingdom of heaven is like a Master of a house who went out very early to hire workers for His vineyard.”
INI + AMEN.
A parable all about the Kingdom of heaven. God’s Kingdom. His Kingdom is how He rules. And what’s a Kingdom without a King? So this parable is all about the King.
How does He rule? What sort of King is He? How does He treat His subjects? How does He pay the workers that He called into His vineyard? How much, how little? “I will pay you whatever is righteous.” How much is that?
Those are the sorts of questions we’re thinking about today when it comes to Jesus’ parable of the vineyard.
((2. What sort of God is He?))
“The Kingdom of Heaven” is just another way of saying “the Kingdom of God.” So, who’s at the top of that Kingdom? God is, of course. We all have our ideas about God. Actually, most of the time we just operate on our feelings. How we feel God is. What we feel or think God does.
So, what sort of things come to mind with “God”? We so often talk about God in ways that naturally fit with what we already think god, any god, really should be like. So, here come the “omnis,” the “imms,” the “ins.” Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. Eternal. Immortal. Invisible. Indivisible.
So often we think about god, talk about god, in these ways: that He’s almighty, all powerful, knows everything, that he’s eternal, he’s everywhere. And He is those things, but if we only believe that because that’s what makes sense about a god, or if we only talk about god in this way, how does that actually make us any different than people who don’t believe in Jesus, that He is God and Savior?
So, yes, Jesus is your God. He’s the King. Co-regent with His Father. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, rule and reign. But what sort of God is Jesus? What sort of King? We’re back to that question.
Is it just that Jesus is almighty, He’s immortal, invisible? Jesus is a peculiar sort of God because He doesn’t seem to be those things. But we can be drawn to those things based on what our Scriptures saw about what sort of God Jesus is, what sort of God His Father is, what sort of God the Holy Spirit it.
It was in our Old Testament lesson, our Epistle lesson, and even the Venice, which we normally use in Matins. Probably blew right past it without paying much attention. We need to repent of that! What sort of God is the Lord Jesus? He’s the Rock!
Kingdom of God. Jesus’ Kingdom. What sort of King? Rock! Talking about Him as a Rock, could lead us down the almighty, immortal path. So, we’ve got to ask the question, what sort of Rock is He? Thankfully the Lord tells us in His Word what sort of Rock He is.
So that’s what we’ve God so far: The Kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Jesus. Ruled by a Rock. That’s the sort of God He is. But what sort of Rock is He?
((1. What sort of Rock is He?))
“O come, let us sing | to the LORD, let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of | our Salvation.” That’s the sort of Rock He is. The Rock of Salvation. He builds upon Himself. But the Lord is rock of Salvation for His people, for those who trust in Him, those who believe. He is that sort of Rock towards those who believe in Him.
He wants to be that for everyone, but for those who turn away from Him, those who don’t actually believe in Him, those who live for themselves only, their desires, their wants, their priorities, their schedule over His and Him, well, for those sorts of people He’s a different sort of Rock. “He is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, whoever falls on Him will be broken, and He will crush the one on whom He falls.”
If you trust in something other than Him, than Him delivering His goodness, freely, then He is just Rock. But He is for those who trust in Him, those who are in need. He always keeps His promises, why doubt Him? “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” That’s Jesus. Rejected at Calvary, but raised, Rock of Salvation, never to die again.
You are built on Him. He cornerstone, you His pebbles, His bricks. You can’t move built on Him. But that’s mixing metaphors, for what sort of Rock is He? He is a rock that bursts open with life and salvation. “Most struck the rock, and behold, water came out.” “One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” That’s Jesus. That’s the sort of Rock He is, the sort of Rock of Salvation He is!
He’s a Rock that bursts open to shower His salvation, His life, His mercy, His love upon all who trust in Him. He gives it for free! He doesn’t do fairness, like we count fairness. Those who work one hour, get a full day’s pay. For those who haven’t done enough to make up for their sins, complete, eternal, free forgiveness.
For those dried up, there’s water. “I baptize you.” For those who are stuck with sins, there’s freedom: “I forgive you.” For those who are lost, in the dark, there’s light: “The prophetic word,” as Peter said last week. For those hungry and thirsty for righteousness, forgiveness, there’s food: “My body and blood for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
What can you say about your God? Jesus is your God. What sort of God is He? He’s a Rock. What sort of Rock? Rock of salvation. For whom? For you! You who trust Him alone.
JESUS IS THE ROCK OF SALVATION FOR THOSE WHO TRUST HIM.
For those who don’t, crushing rock, breaking rock, tripping rock. But He pours forth free forgiveness, free salvation regardless of how much hard work they put in. 12 hours, 1 hour, no hours!—doesn’t matter.
You can build on that. Build on Jesus. In fact, you’re already being built up in Him. You and I are, we all are together. Why hurls rocks at one another? He the Rock of Salvation, good foundation, we His bricks, built up together in Him, baptized, mortared together, united, with His body and blood.
“Moses struck the Rock.” “The soldier pierced His side with a spear.” See the Font. See the Altar. Water. Body and blood. JESUS IS THE ROCK OF SALVATION FOR THOSE WHO TRUST HIM, even you and me.
INI + AMEN.