Day 53: Wednesday, May 27
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work. He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing. And about five o’clock that afternoon he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages starting with the last hired until the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay. And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner, saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”
The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® http://netbible.com copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
COMMENT & QUESTIONS
This parable begins with ‘For’, meaning that it is connected to yesterday’s reading. In what way is this parable about rewards a follow on from the reading from yesterday?
The teaching yesterday focused on the rewards of discipleship. This parable will go on to discuss more about this topic.
In the parable, the landowner says, “Are you envious because I am generous?” Sometimes we can be angry at God for being too forgiving. Remember how Jonah was angry that God forgave the Ninevites? Is this a temptation for us?
It is very easy to think that others don't deserve God's grace but that we are fully entitled to it. However, grace is by definition unmerited. It's true that other people deserve it because ultimately nobody deserves it!
Pray that we will always rejoice in God’s mercy for others – even when we think they are unworthy