What Can you See?
Jesus gets under people’s skin. The mis-named story of the Labourers in the Vineyard is an example. As is the story it is part of, that of the RichYoung Man (Matthew 19.16 – 20.16).
The rich man asked Jesus about what “good” he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus rejected the possibility – only God is good. And then Jesus listed some of the Ten Commandments. “All done!” said the man. The only lack was with the first two commandments which Jesus didn’t mention at first. But then he did. Sell your possessions – and rid yourself of the idols you are depending on. And follow me so you can serve only God.
The man goes away sad. The disciples are astonished. If the rich can’t be saved who can? No one. Impossible if left to themselves, says Jesus. But certainly possible with God.
And then Peter’s big question: We have left all for you – what is there for us? What do we get? Lots and lots Jesus says. Thrones for the apostles. And for anyone who has left all for Jesus – a hundredfold – and eternal life (the young man’s hope).
But wealth and privilege won’t count. Many who are first will be last and the last first. Here is a bookend for the next story. It is an unsettling story. We want to sympathise with the all-day workers. Their treatment is clearly not equitable. Read more..
The audio of a sermon preached on this topic at Holy Cross Cathedral Geraldton on Wednesday August 17 can be found here.