Calvary Baptist Church, Middleton, TN
Text: Topical - Humility
Introduction: True humility is an
attitude of total dependence on God. Without true humility we will not be
content, God or men will not honor us, and we cannot posses the righteousness
I. Humility and Contentment.
A. God is Fair (Matt 20:1-7)
20:1 the kingdom of heaven is like unto - The Kingdom of Heaven is the same as the realm of God's rule. Jesus is about to teach us something important about the realm of God's rule and God Himself. A householder – (The head of the family or the master of the house). Hire labourers - The master of the house goes out early and hires laborers to work in his vineyard.
20:2 he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day - A penny a day was a day’s wages during this time.
20:3 he went out about the third hour - The third hour of the day for the Jews would have been 9:00am our time.
20:4 whatsoever is right I will give you - The master promises to be fair to these servants who started a little later than the first group.
20:5 the sixth hour and the ninth hour - This would have been 12:00pm and 3:00pm.
20:6 the eleventh hour - This would have been 5:00pm.
20:7 whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive - Again, the master promises to be fair.
All of us would say that these workers have not labored equally. Some worked much longer than others. They were also working under different conditions. Some of the workers hired later didn't have to work in the hottest part of the day. The servant of the Lord doesn't decide the terms of his service. Not all believers labor for equally long periods or in equally difficult circumstances. The master decides these things for us because He knows best. We should be content to just simply do his will.
B. We Should Humbly Accept God's Rewards (Matt 20:8-16)
20:8 beginning from the last - The master begins to hand out the payment or rewards beginning at those who he hired last.
20:9 they came that were hired about the eleventh hour - They received a whole day's wage, a penny.
20:10 the first came - Those who were hired first received also a day's wage, a penny.
20:11 they murmured - Even though they had agreed with the master for a penny when they seen those who came last get a penny they supposed they should have received more. They grumbled and complained because they felt they were not treated fairly.
20:12 thou hast made them equal to us - They had borne a greater burden than those who came later in the day. They were comparing themselves with the other servants. 2 Cor 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
20:13 I do thee no wrong - The master was fair, he gave them what he told them he would. Their ill feelings toward the master were based on a desire to have more than was promised.
20:15 is thine eye evil, because I am good - In his wisdom the master was doing what was fair and right. The thoughts and feelings of these who were complaining were evil because they were focused on self.
20:16 the last shall be first, and the first last - So shall it be in the realm of God's rule.
There are some things we need to consider or remember about our judge and reward giver the Lord Jesus Christ. 1. He wants us to do what He tells us to do. 2. We will not be rewarded according to what our circumstances were, how hard the work was, how long we had to endure rough conditions, or what the results of our labors were. The Lord who saved us and called us into His service will judge us according to how faithful we were to do what He asked us to do. 3. It's Jesus who chooses the field of service for each of His children if they will allow Him to, and He will reward them according to their faithfulness in that field. Envy has no place in the heart of the servant of the Lord. What God gives to or does through others should never be a source of irritation to us but a cause for rejoicing. John 21:20-22 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Pete! r seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Jesus indeed had a plan for John but it didn't concern Peter. Peter needed to do what Jesus wanted for him.
II. Humility is linked to Honor. (Luke 14:7-11)
This is a parable concerning a wedding. We would all understand that at a wedding there are seats which are reserved for special people, such as, family, close friends, and even special guests.
14:8 sit not down in the highest room - There is a warning here from Jesus that we ought not to honor ourselves. The reason why follows. Those that honor themselves are setting themselves up to be humiliated.
14:10 sit down in the lowest room - We ought to have an attitude that gives the honor to those around us and not to ourselves. When we have that kind of an attitude we are setting ourselves up to be honored.
14:11 Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Prov 22:4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. James 4:6 ...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. The way down is up and the way up is down.
III. Humility is linked to Righteousness. (Luke 18:9-14)
In order to go to heaven and live in God's presence we must have His righteousness. To have His righteousness we must humble ourselves.
18:9 trusted in themselves - This parable is spoken to those who trust in themselves. Those who trust in themselves have an attitude of independence from God. The name for that kind of attitude is pride.
He states that they were righteous - This parable is also spoken to those who are self-righteous. A self-righteous man is a man who justifies himself by comparing himself to others. Rom 2:1-3 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them, which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
18:10 one a Pharisee - A Pharisee was a separatist meaning he believed that separation from the world was the most important part of his spirituality. He viewed his separation as making him more righteous than others.
The other a publican - A publican was a tax collector. They were mostly Jews who collected taxes from their own people for the Roman government. Most publicans collected extra taxes with which they lined their pockets. For this they were hated by all the Jewish people and looked at as the wicked of sinners.
18:11 God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men - This Pharisee compares himself with other men and speaks of the sins that he does not commit. He then reminds God of the righteous acts, which are a regular part of his life. He doesn't judge himself by the law but by the sins of others. In effect he justifies himself by the sins of others. He is self-righteous. A self-righteous person doesn't see a great need for God's Mercy, His Grace, or the salvation offered in Jesus Christ.
18:13 be merciful to me a sinner - This publican who in practice probably had little concern for religion just simply judged himself by the law as guilty and seen himself a hopeless and helpless sinner. He threw himself upon the mercy of God.
18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified - The publican who seen his sin and came to throw himself upon the mercy of God was gloriously saved while the Pharisee who refused to see his sin went home the way he had came, condemned.