This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It is the parable about the landowner who hires all the people at different times, but pays them all the same. I used to never understand that story. Then it hit me. HARD. I used to be that person in church and at work who watched everyone else do the hard tasks. I was either late, not dressed properly, didn’t show up at all, or just flat out not willing. I would stand around and expect things to get done, miraculously. Either that or I would get so involved that I would expect the same of others and run them off in my quest for greatness and perfection (it was all about me).
Matthew 20:1-16 – “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 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?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “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.’ 9 “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.”
Entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven is by Grace ALONE. I can’t be superior and expect to get into heaven. I can’t be jealous of others blessings and expect to get into heaven. I can’t balk at God’s decisions and expect to get into heaven. I love this! If I am going to be a part of the harvest of souls for the kingdom, then I better get ready to see God move them at supersonic fast-forward speed once they come to Him and I better be ready to CELEBRATE with them!!! He wants us all on the fast track and He wants to put us all in our proper place. Where we should have been the WHOLE TIME! NOT ONE OF US deserves eternal life, but we are given it anyway! If someone is a criminal, a murderer, a thief, an adulteress, a liar, a cheat, an addict, a drunk and they decide in their life to turn to the Lord; our wonderful, forgiving, gracious Lord; then who am I to say anything? When I open my mouth it will be in wonderful PRAISE!!!
My good friends, Dustan and Darlene of the Revolutionary Life, are worldwide missionaries. They go into places and preach to some people that are Satan worshipers in third world countries. Do you think that when those people turn a listening ear and allow the seed of Christ to be planted that Dustan and Darlene judge them? Absolutely not! They look past the bloody statues of false idols in the town square and they see these lost souls the way God sees them! And the CELEBRATE when one comes to know Christ as their personal Savior!!! I may not be out there in the mission field but I am on my own mission, on a daily basis, to touch people. It can be done in prayer, it can be done in the world, it can be done at work, it can be done from my couch; it can be done for a friend, a coworker, a homeless guy on the street. It can be done by standing up for what I believe in, by writing about the things on my heart, by studying the word and sharing it with someone! I want to become a worker in the field! This is the most rewarding job I will every have in my entire life and the blessings are too many to count!!
The first will be last and the last will be first!
You can read Matthew 17-20 about Jesus and His parables and transiguration at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Matthew
To further your reading, consider this from:
Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
We are part of the great commission. We are to share the love of Christ with anyone who comes in our path. We don’t have to travel the world to share what Christ can do. It’s in the simple things.
Related Scriptures: Luke 23:40-43; Matthew 28:19; Deuteronomy 24:15