One of the Greatest Attributes of a Believer is Brokenness

Matthew 21:23-44

DATE: 1 April, 2001   AM         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Ps 34:18; 51:17) – Just one word today - Brokenness


A.     Other words for brokenness include meekness, humbleness, submission, CONTRITION – being SMALL, instead of the most important

B.     In this day and age, people have lost sight of the great work of breaking

C.     The transfer of attention from Self to Saviour

D.     God most certainly blesses this great heart attitude – and we all need it


II.    Background (Matthew 21)


A.     Jesus is in the Temple

B.     He has just a few days earlier rode into Jerusalem for the last time, but his time, on the back of a donkey, as prophesied in Zechariah

C.     All of the eyes of Jerusalem, which was swollen with people from all over Israel, were upon Jesus, listening to His every word

D.     But there were some in the crowd, whose hearts were full of envy, and hatred, and anger that made them hard towards the Gospel message

E.      So Jesus attempts to correct the problem – that God!


III. Message – Brokenness (Matthew 21:23-44)


A.     The Contention (21:23)


1.       People get SO upset when Jesus is around – not the pictures and idols, but the real Person. People know Jesus is a THREAT


a.      To religion and all the money it makes

b.      To governments, because it empowers people to lead

c.      To sinners, because they can’t justify their sin with Him around

d.      To the future, because He claims to be owner of this world


2.       The people that get the most upset are the religious leaders of the major world’s religions and government officials

3.       Here were the chief priests – the ones who should have known best the Scriptures, and been looking most keenly for the Messiah

4.       Yet all they wanted was to attack Christ’s authority


a.      They couldn’t attack His character

b.      They couldn’t argue with His wisdom

c.      They couldn’t ignore His miracles

d.      So they try to show everyone He is a rogue – acting without permission (what a horrible thing)


B.     The Conflict (21:24-27)


1.       Jesus knew their conflict with John, and now with Jesus

2.       So Jesus responds with a question in kind – the answer to their question is already answered by John the Baptist


a.      Was HIS authority from men – if so, there is no Messiah

b.      Or was it from God – if so, then Jesus is the Messiah as told!

c.      Jesus uses mental reasoning to get to the hearts of these guys


3.       Notice that due to their political motivation, they would not answer

4.       Did you ever notice that most people stay in a mode of conflict simply because they won’t answer the important questions of life?!


C.     The Two-Fold Comparison (21:28-41)


1.       Jesus doesn’t ignore these guys – He really would like to see EVERYONE saved – including chief priests and bishops and popes

2.       So He tells two parables – two stories that explain what He is teaching

3.       The Two Sons (21:28-32) – I love this story – so simply profound!


a.      The simple command by the father

b.      The first son


1)      Rejects his father’s authority over his life, and wants rather to live his own way – a rebel

2)      Then, later, repents, and goes and does right


c.      The second son


1)      Clearly acts the respectful and loving son we all wish we had

2)      He so quickly promises to obey, and makes his dad so proud – he looked to be so full of obedience and hard work

3)      But in reality – he was FULL OF THE DEVIL

4)      These kids today


a)      If they are not in open rebellion to every authority, they are secretly

b)      Parents are wasting their time teaching their kids to ACT respectful, but at the same time hateful of every authority


d.      Jesus asks the Pharisees, Which son did the will of their father?

e.      To which, even the Pharisees could see, it was the First!

f.       Now Jesus has them – they had come to “CATCH” His words, yet he has CAUGHT THEM!


1)      The first son is like all sinners – disobeying God, and then at the PREACHING of a man of God, getting right, and doing right

2)      The second son is like the religious fakers – acting so holy, and good, but inwardly are full of rebellion and the devil

3)      Notice WHAT KIND of folks are going to heaven?


a)      Wicked sinners praise GOD! Harlots. Publicans!

b)      And NOT religiously good people – because NONE are good


4)      Notice also that forgiveness from God is based upon believing the preaching of the WORD of God – PERIOD!


4.       The Vineyard Workers (21:33-41)


a.      Jesus doesn’t let up

b.      Tells the story of a vineyard owner who lets out the operation of his farm to some local workers while he goes away

c.      When it came time for the workers to send the profits from the harvest back to the owner, they beat up and rejected the first collector

d.      And they did the same to the next one who came to collect

e.      And the next

f.       Until the owner decides to send his son


1)      Surely people would see the patience the owner has had with these men

2)      Surely the son would be able to reason with them

3)      Surely they would love his son

4)      (Does anybody see where Jesus is heading with this story?)


g.      But the workers, who are on strike at the moment however only see their own personal gain


1)      Igits

2)      They actually think by killing the heir, they would benefit

3)      So they catch him, drag him out of the vineyard – his vineyard, and then kill him


h.      But what now will the owner (the LORD) do to those workers?

i.        The Pharisees and chief priests answer right away


1)      He will “miserably destroy those wicked men” – oooh, out of their own mouth, they have spoken against themselves

2)      He will let out the vineyard to others


D.     The Charge (21:42-43) - Thus saith the Lord


1.       The STONE which is rejected WILL REIGN soon – be HEAD

2.       And the LORD will bring it to pass – without the help of religious orders, and organisations, and wars and crusades, etc

3.       Therefore, the kingdom is taken from YOU – the Jewish nation

4.       And given to another nation – the Gentiles

5.       All because of hardness of heart


E.      The Necessary Conversion (21:44)


1.       Salvation is a work of the heart

2.       Without that work being allowed to work, there is no conversion – every wonder why people are so afraid of conversion? Fear being different! I thank GOD for God making me different!!!

3.       Because, without conversion, there is no hope for any of us!

4.       Folks, Jesus gives the remedy for our cold, hard hearts


a.      Collapse – surrender – brokenness – meekness – everything the world mocks (even makes meekness into weakness – it is not)!

b.      You may not even be able to surrender correctly – that’s ok! Jesus says just fall, and let Jesus break you – He probably is already trying to break you


1)      Troubles (Ps 119:67, 71)

2)      Turmoil in the heart – unsettled

3)      Coming to the end of yourself – what a blessed event!


c.      Jesus is the STONE – the ROCK – not some church, or priest, or Temple, or meditation – just and only JESUS!

d.      With that breaking process, conversion is taking place – a change – a transformation


1)      From death unto life

2)      From bondage to freedom

3)      From sin unto righteousness

4)      From envy and hatred to burden for the lost


5.       Jesus also gives the warning


a.      If there is no surrender, no brokenness, then there will be destruction – without a hell, no one would take God seriously

b.      Even the unsaved know that God has a right to do RIGHT


IV.  Conclusion – The One Who Finally Breaks Wins


A.     When there is in you a force that makes you hard, and angry and unmoveable from your own ways, then you are just like these Pharisees

B.     EX: the gourd in the iron band – 5,000 lbs of pressure, but unpleasant