A Parable for the Times

The Workers in the Vineyard

As we continue our journey through the parables we felt the need to show how something written eons ago is so relevant today. People are so focused on what everyone else is receiving, what someone else is doing, how someone else lives their life. People have become so polarized, so victimized, so self righteous about every issue.

Today we will hear a story of how it’s actually been going on for centuries. The woe is me, that’s not fair, I deserve more mentality of humans.

The Workers in the Vineyard

Matthew 20:1-16

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

When I read this verse I think of all the times in my life that I hear, Why does “Sue” make more than “Tom”? Why do men make more than women? Why do you only hire women? Why don’t you hire a man for that job? The reality is that people work for the wage they agreed to work for. It is just that simple and basic. If you feel it’s unfair, don’t take the job.

The workers in the vineyard received the pay that they agreed to and it wasn’t unfair. The landowner can do as he chooses with his money and he paid everyone fairly for the days work that they completed, whether it was all day, half the day or one hour.

Some truths;

God doesn’t owe us anything but offers us everything…on His terms.

Romans 3:23; 6:23- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God continues to invite people into relationship.

Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Women who begin their relationship with God early in life are no more loved or deserving than women who come to God late in life.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

More verses to ponder:

John 14:6

Luke 23:43

Ephesians 2: 8-10

Luke 17:10

1 Peter 5:5

Make a list of the things that you have ever felt that God owes you because you have trusted and followed him. Be honest.

Who does God want you to extend His grace to in your life? As you think of these people, pray for them and pray for God to soften your heart towards them.

Review 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and use it as a guide to record these moments each day: joy, prayer, thankfulness. How did this activity affect your attitude?

At the end of the day if you let the “unfairness” of things that happen in life get to you, then it’s your loss. You are you and you are wonderful, giving, deserving and beautiful. God loves you and only asks for your love in return. For your faith, for your trust. If you let all that other stuff define you instead of letting God define you then you are missing out.

Spend some quiet time with God this week. Think about all the things that you can do to show others the wonders of God with your daily life. Be joyful, be positive, be grateful, be “God”ful.

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