Early in spring the Gardener plants a tree by the river. He promises the tree growth. The tree drinks the water from the stream, eats the nutrients in the soil, absorbs the rays from the sun and breathes in the air.
Later in the season the Gardner plants more trees. Throughout the summer more are planted by the same river.
At the end of the year the Gardner examines the trees, from the most recent to the first.
They all grew to be the same height with the same amount of foliage. The first tree asks the Gardener, “Shouldn’t I have grown more than the ones you planted last month?”
The Gardner responds, “Friend, you grow into a beautiful tree. What is it to you how tall I allowed the others to grow? Can’t I do with that which is mine as i choose?”
This is from a sermon illustration I used for my sermon based on Matthew 20:1-16.
One day a rich man built many houses, he paid for them all with his own money. He freely gave one to each person in his country. Many people came and heard what he had to offer. Some accepted, while others rejected his gift. After three years the man departed and a small group took up his mission to offer these homes to everyone they met.
There are those who believed in the man and his gift. Others believed that he was real but the houses where too good to be true. Yet the majority of the people scoffed at the idea that anyone would build so many houses and give them away so freely.
The ones who accepted the houses signed the legal documents and got full possession of their homes the very same day. Only a few of these people went out of their way to announce to the world that these homes are free for everyone. But most stayed within the comfort of their homes and wanted nothing to do with anyone else.
The sad thing is of those that rejected the homes on the basis that they believed that the man was a myth thought that they could still accept their houses without signing the documents. The man had made sure that only those who accepted his existence could partake in his gift. Those that rejected him would be charged with trespassing, for the homes are legally his until the papers are signed.