God is the God of the Broken, Not the Proud

The Need for a New Heart

Matthew 21:33-45


DATE: 1 June, 2008 AM

PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.       Introduction (Philp 2:10,11)


A.    Theme this month - Bow the Knee Directly – the importance of immediate worship!

B.     Fact: Jesus is Lord

C.     Fact: Jesus is Lord whether we think so or not

D.    Fact: Every knee should bow to Him as Lord, and every tongue should confess it as true

E.     Problem: People don’t… And I want to show you why, and show you how to fix it


II.    Parable of the Land Owner (Matthew 21:33-41)


A.    The Land-Owner (21:33)


1.      He owned a vineyard. Planted it, hedged it, digged a press for the grapes, built a watchtower, hired workers, and then went back home

2.      This is how large extended farms were run

3.      The land-owner lived far away

4.      This is God


B.     The Workers (21:33)


1.      These were the people specially chosen to work that farm

2.      Called husbandmen – farmers, labourers

3.      “Workers,” not lazy people who lived off the land, but worked for the owner

4.      The land and crops/fruit were not theirs, they were the owners!

5.      These were the religious leaders – put in charge by God of the people


C.     The Harvest (21:34-36)


1.      The fruits, the results of God’s work in us are supposed to be given back to God


a.       Our children

b.      Our tithes

c.       Our plans

d.      Our successes and our failures


2.      But the workers thought only of the profits – of what THEY could make from this deal


a.       God was taking care of them

b.      But they wanted it all


3.      But God sent servants to call for the people to give back to God what belongs to Him (see Mt 22:17-21)!


a.       The servants were prophets and preachers in the Old Testament

b.      Every time they were rejected (Mt 23:34-39)


4.      God tried again and again – that’s patience

5.      But the religious, the workers rejected every call by God to do right and get right!


D.    God’s Best Attempt (21:37-39)


1.      The owner here had a Son!

2.      How can people NOT reverence, worship my Son?

3.      This was God’s best attempt at getting things fixed in His vineyard!

4.      It is what changed MY life – damnation, condemnation, judgment, proving my sins and sinfulness could not change me

5.      Only God’s SON could change my situation!

6.      But as we know, this was a prophetic story about the near future…

7.      The Pharisees saw the coming of God’s Son as their best opportunity to retain control, and keep things like they wanted – that’s the work of religion, not of God

8.      So they took the Son, and dragged Him out of the vineyard and killed Him – just as they would do in a few days when they crucified Jesus


E.     Due Justice (21:40,41)


1.      Now… no one breathed

2.      This was the ultimate injustice!


a.       The owner had done everything right

b.      He had gone the extra miles with the servants

c.       And even when they had killed some of His servants, the owner finally sent His Son

d.      And they killed him like a pig!


3.      So… what will the owner do now?


a.       He will “miserably destroy those wicked men” – these were the religious frauds, the Pharisees, the priests, the people that did not serve God, but their own bellies

b.      He will replace them with other servants, people that will serve the owner


4.      And everyone agrees, that he would be RIGHT!


F.      Review the Comparisons of the Parable – before we go on any further…


1.      The Owner is God

2.      The Vineyard is God’s Possessions – the Land, the people, the prosperity… it all belongs FIRST to God

3.      The Workers are specially called people that we would call “the religious” – the Pharisees, the priests, the scribes, the religious lawyers… people who should have served God, but instead got fat on what belonged to God

4.      The Harvest is every good thing in our life – it belongs BACK in God’s hands: our blessings, children, successes, knowledge, our very lives (Rom 12:1)

5.      The Servants sent by the Owner are Prophets and Preachers who called for people to live for God and give God what is His

6.      The Son of the Owner is Jesus

7.      The destruction of the original labourers is the demoting of Judaism and the Old Testament and replacing it with Gentile faith only in the Son


III. Jesus’ Message (Matthew 21:42-46)


A.    A Unique Prophecy (21:42)


1.      God is only concerned with how we react to His Son

2.      That “stone” is the Rock of Matthew 16:15-18, and of 1Cor 3:11

3.      We either stumble on it and curse it, or we fall before it and bless it (1Pet 2:1-8)

4.      The “builders” are the Pharisees, the kingdom builders who only want an empire in their name… and they rejected Jesus as not good enough

5.      But GOD made Jesus the very HEAD, they very highest and most prominent stone of all!


B.     A Serious Warning (21:43,44)


1.      You reject Christ, and reject His leadership, you lose

2.      God knows you may misunderstand preachers and messages

3.      But you cannot miss Jesus Christ


C.     It’s Your Choice


1.      If the “stone” causes you to stumble and fall… then GREAT!

2.      But of you try and ignore the “Stone” and reject its place in your life (as Lord), then it will come and grind you to powder (Dan 2:31-34; 41-45)

3.      It’s coming

4.      The antichrist will attempt to set up “his” kingdom first on God’s world, but ultimately, the “STONE” that has been rejected will come again


D.    The Penny Drops (21:45,46) – Point Made


1.      The Pharisees KNEW that Jesus was talking about THEM and their attitude towards GOD


3.      They, instead of breaking, just hardened themselves towards God, and would have killed Jesus right then and their if not for all the other people around


IV. The Main Truth (21:44)


A.    God cannot work with proud people (James 4:6) God only Works with Broken People


1.      Mark 2:17

2.      Matthew 18:11

3.      Romans 5:6-8


B.     All people are proud people – that’s how we are! No exceptions!


1.      What does pride mean here:


a.       Only going so far with God, and no further

b.      It stops you and I from absolutely yielding to God no matter the cost

c.       We would rather worry about the cost of following the Lord Jesus, than the cost of rebelling against it

d.      It is SELF-Importance


2.      We all are proud by nature – just natural

3.      Not everyone shows it the same way, but when pushed, we show our pride and reject obedience to God

4.      We must be taught the importance of yielding


C.     Warning - Pride will destroy you


1.      Psalm 119:21 – the proud are cursed by God

2.      Psalm 73:6 – Pride will enslave you in chains

3.      Prov 15:25 – Pride will destroy your whole home

4.      Prov 16:18 – Pride is the signal that destruction is coming, and a hard fall


D.    Everyone must be broken


1.      Pride does not yield, it must be broken to be removed

2.      Pride does not work with people, it only uses people, and has to be humiliated to be replaced

3.      Pride is the same as idolatry and witchcraft (1Sam 15:23) and so must be repented of and hated

4.      If you don’t think that you need to be broken, just look at the relationships that you have with other people – if they are a mess, then you need to be broken. If people can’t show you that you are proud, then you will never see it!

5.      But how do any of us conquer our pride?


E.     Brokenness comes ONLY by choice – not accidental, or automatic


1.      A choice to “be broken” … be remade all over again!

2.      Allowing yourself to be “tripped up” and brought low!

3.      Accepting yourself as proud, as stubborn, as hard hearted

4.      Allowing God to break you – you won’t break your own pride – you have to allow GOD to break you! It’s a spiritual law!


F.      Rebellion to God also comes only by CHOICE – you cannot blame anyone else for how you act towards Jesus


1.      People don’t take God seriously because they don’t think the Stone is coming (see Pharaoh’s attitude towards the Lordship of Christ, Exod 10:3)

2.      It is a Stone of judgment

3.      Jesus is offering Himself as your Saviour and Lord, but if He is rejected, He will be your Judge

4.      Christian, Jesus is your Lord… follow Him, yield to Him… I plead with you, and ask you to humble yourself


G.    There are Serious Blessings of Brokenness


1.      A whole new heart (Ezek 11:19)

2.      A load of respect

3.      A longer life

4.      Better sleep and rest

5.      God’s help – you have no help from God without brokenness


V.    Final Questions…


A.    How do YOU normally react to the commands in Scripture?


1.      Find it easy to ignore? The Stone will come!

2.      Try and only go so far, but no more? The Stone will come?

3.      Only do what will not humiliate you? The Stone will crush you!


B.     How should you and I react?


1.      Crumble at the cross – what a task!

2.      Break – stop trying to hold all the pieces together

3.      Reject anything between you and God, and between you and others that causes pride

4.      If there is pride, if you think you have a better way of doing things than God, then be very afraid!

5.      Start asking God to take away the hard, stony heart out of you and to give you the new heart, the soft heart, and enjoy feeling once again!

6.      Sit down with people that you have hurt and crumble before them! Ask their forgiveness

7.      And those of you who have been hurt, you will never heal until you grant them forgiveness, knowing that the Lord granted YOU forgiveness!


C.     Which is worth it more?




Craig Ledbetter |  Pastor  |  Bible Baptist Church  |  021-4871234  +353-21-4871234  |  biblebc@gmail.com  www.biblebc.com