‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:11-16 ESV)


The church has found that plain old hanging-judge sermons sell, but that grace remains a drug on the market. As a preacher, I can with the greatest of ease tell people that God is going to get them, and I can be sure they will believe every word I say. But what I cannot do, without inviting  utter disbelief and serious doubts about my sanity, is proclaim that he has in fact taken away all the sins of the world and that he has, accordingly, solved all the problems he once had with sin. I cannot tell them, as John does, that he “did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12:47). Nor can I ask them, as Paul does, to believe the logical consequence of that statement, namely, that “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Capon