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Denarius Jesus!

September 24, 2017

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Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost                   Trinity Lutheran Church

24 September 2017                                            Murdock, NE


Isaiah 55:6-9 / Matthew 20:1-16


My thoughts are not your thoughts.

Your ways are not my ways.

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


Nothing could be truer. Exact. Spot on. And yet nothing could be more scandalous! Or deadly — to the old Adam! Especially when it comes to salvation!


After all, you’re old Adams/sinful natures have particular opinions about how salvation works. You are dead set on how God should act when it comes to salvation. And it’s this: God should give you what you deserve. What you earn. What you merit. So much work, so much salvific salary! You’re a Salvational Firster! Always comparing yourself to others and you’re always better! Deserving more.


Like the apostle Peter himself who at the end of chapter 19 declared in arm bar fashion: “Look here Jesus! We apostles have left all to follow you. Now, what do we get?” (Mt. 19:27) Yeah, you work all day in the vineyard. You bear the backbreaking burden. You sweat through the exhaustive heat of the day. So you should get more than the slackers and dead beat losers who don’t work a full day let alone those that arrived at the vineyard an hour before closing time as the sun starts to set! God owes you! He’s under obligation! You put in your time. You should be the first in line. Ahead of everyone else. It’s only fair. It’s only just. It’s only right.


Well, friends, you’d better get over that right now. PDQ over it! Quit your complaining that God isn’t fair. That He’s not just. I warn you. “Forsake” that way of thinking. “Is your eye evil because God is good?” That’s really “wicked.” You’d better repent of being a Salvific Firster! Boasting of your hard work! As if you have God in a headlock or a full nelson.


Learn the proper function of works and working. They are significant. Vital. In this way: your working and works in the vineyard are not for the next world. Your working and works in the vineyard are for this world. Your working and works in the vineyard ARE NOT FOR SALVATION. They are FOR THE SERVICE, HELP AND LOVE OF YOUR NEIGHBOR – your spouse, children, community and congregation members. So work. Please do. Honor authority: parental and civic. Support your family. Protect life. Live in holy marriage faithfully. Protect your neighbor’s property and reputation. Go for it! With all you’ve got. Not to earn your salvation but because you are saved in Christ.  Yes, indeed — God’s ways are not your ways. God’s thoughts are not your thoughts.


God is under no obligation to you. In fact, and this is really incredible and mind blowing — God doesn’t give sinners what they deserve. Sinners deserve damnation.


However, God gives what sinners deserve to — JESUS HIS SON! Therefore, God saves sinners only in, with, under and through His Son’s Good Friday on the cross death! The coin, the denarius, that God promises and gives is His Son Jesus and the forgiveness of sins for every sin and every sinner! Jesus died for all. He atoned for all sin. Salvation is for everyone alike. He is totally generous – SALVIFICALLY to all – EVEN THE UNDESERVING THE LAST ONES! Who are you to say God can’t do what He wants with Jesus – His coin — His salvational stash? If you insist on calling the salvation shots Jesus has these words to say to you:  “The first ones will be the last ones.”


If you’re going to boast of anything, boast of God’s astounding, amazing grace! FOR YOU and for all! In Good Friday Dead On The Cross Coin Denarius Jesus!


So it’s high time to “seek the LORD while he may be found and call upon Him while he is near” to you and FOR YOU in Jesus’ CALVARY CROSS and HIS giving the benefits of His death FOR YOU in your baptism and the Lord’s Supper.


My thoughts are not your thoughts.

Your ways are not my ways.

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


Absolutely! Most especially in this way: HIS HEARTY COMPASSION AND ABUNDANT PARDON as He promises through Isaiah the prophet.


Or through the parable Jesus tells. Better just sit back, enjoy and listen to the owner of the vineyard – the God-figure in the story. He does what He wants with the salvation gift – the coin – the denarius — that belongs to Him. That’s Jesus! In Jesus His generosity of forgiveness and salvation knows no bounds. He gives it to all. And TO YOU! Most especially in the Lord’s Supper today. “Given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of yours sins.”


My thoughts are not your thoughts.

Your ways are not my ways.

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


Good thing! Especially when it comes to our salvation! All His doing! All His giving! Praise the Lord!


In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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