Monday, February 28, 2022
7 “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
8 “When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’
9-12 “Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’
13-15 “He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’
16 “Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”
-Matthew 20:7-16 The Message
Verse 7: They *said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’
Verse 8: “Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard *said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group to the first.’
Verse 9: When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.
Verse 10: And so when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius.
Verse 11: When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,
Verse 12: saying, ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day’s work and the scorching heat.’
Verse 13: But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?
Verse 14: Take what is yours and go, but I want to give to this last person the same as to you.
Verse 15: Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’
Verse 15 study: The parable is not about rewards, it’s about salvation. This is strong teaching of grace, God’s generosity. What we shouldn’t do is berate those who turn to God at the last possible moment. The actual truth is, no one deserves eternal life, so why begrudge someone for turning to God at the last possible moment?
There will be so many people we would not expect to see in the kingdom that will be there. The criminal who repented as he was dying (*Luke 23:40-43) will be there along with those who believed and served God for many years.
*Luke 23:40-43: 40 But the other responded, and rebuking him, said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our crimes; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Do you resent God’s gracious acceptance of those who were despised, the outcast, and sinners who turned to him for forgiveness? Are you jealous of what God has given to another person? Take the time to focus on God’s gracious benefits to you, and be thankful for what you have.
Verse 16: So the last shall be first, and the first, last.”