by James Merritt

God And The Minimum Wage
James Merritt
Matthew 20:1-16


1. In 1938 the United States Congress passed a law called ''The Fair Labor and Practice Act.'' That law affects millions and tens of millions of lives to this very day, because it established for the first time in our history a minimum wage. Believe it or not, it was set at 25 cents an hour. I can remember working when I was in high school in a Five Dime Store for $1 an hour. The only reason he paid me that much was because he had to, because he would tell me many times I wasn't worth that.

2. That law was really based on two principles: First of all, everyone must make a minimum wage; second, there should be some semblance of equal pay for equal work.

3. Well, believe it or not, Jesus told a story that, in an interesting and strange way, relates to both of those principles. It is the first story He told on his final week on earth. It is the last story he would tell before he entered into Jerusalem. Now when you read it you are going to find that it is one of the most shocking stories, with one of the most shocking conclusions, Jesus ever told. In fact, I would go so far as to say it may be the most controversial parable he ever told.

4. I had my son, Joshua, read this parable on the way to school, and after he read it I said to him, ''What stands out more than anything else to you about this story?'' His reply was, ''It isn't fair.'' That is exactly the way some of you initially will feel as well.

5. This story deals with a bottom line question, and the question is this: ''What does God owe you?'' Jesus told this story for bottom line people. This is a parable that has a message for the people whose attitude is, ''What's in it for me?''

6. Well, there is a word I want you to think about right now, and just paste it over your mind as you listen to this message, and it is the word GRACE. Probably the most popular Christian hymn ever written is the one called ''Amazing Gra ...

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