Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Today’s passage is the conclusion of a story Jesus told about a man who hired some workers. These workers went out early in the morning to start tending his vineyard. Around 9:00 a.m. he hired some others to join them. Then he hired additional workers at noon and some more at 3:00 p.m. At 5:00 p.m. he brought on one more group—an hour before quitting time.
When the men lined up for their pay the owner of the vineyard gave each worker the same amount. The men who had worked all day were not pleased. But the landowner said, “Friend, I am not unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go.”
The point of Jesus’ story is not about a vineyard, workers, and frustration in wages. Jesus told the story to teach us about His free gift of grace. Those of us who have been believers for some time can start to feel like we deserve what God gives us. Grace is a free gift that cannot be earned. Grace is the basis of salvation for those who serve Christ for forty years and the person who turns to Christ with their last breath. Thank God that grace is not fair.
Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You that grace is not based on what I do. Thank You that grace is not fair. Forgive me for feeling that I deserve Your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This Week on The Journey Broadcast: