Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
Matthew 20: 1-16
This is both an end-time parable and a grace parable. Jesus tells a story of a vineyard owner seeking casual daily labor for his vineyard. A denarius would have been the normal daily wage for a 10-hour day, with the laborers being paid at the end of the day. The owner hires men first thing in the morning, then around lunchtime, then again later in the afternoon, and finally just an hour or so before the end of the working day. Those hired last were paid first and receive a full day's wage. Those hired first see this and assume they will be paid more than the day's wage they agreed to work for.
We can take 2 warnings from this parable:
1. 'they began to grumble' Matt. 20:11
Grumbling and unjustified expectation can be corrosive, and can lead to bitterness and division.
Jesus is making the point that in God's Kingdom some are treated justly and fairly whilst others are treated with incredible grace. None of us deserve the rewards God so lavishly bestows on us, so don't get angry if you think others deserve them less than you!
2. 'are you envious..' Matt. 20:15
Check your hearts for envy, because envy is toxic and will burn you up from the inside. Be content with who God made you to be, what gifts he has given you, and don't compare yourselves to the success or prosperity of others.
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