Photo by David Law on Unsplash
Dear Laborers in Christ,
I was the oldest child. Now and then, my younger siblings would say, “That’s not fair!” whenever I received extra privileges. However, in my opinion, “Of course it’s fair! I’m the oldest!” Fairness is subjective. What’s fair to one doesn’t always seem fair to another. Most of us believe we should get what we deserve. So, when we feel we’ve been cheated in some way, “That’s not fair!”
In the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) Jesus tells us about some laborers whose idea of fairness follows the world’s perspective. The master of the house hires laborers to work in his field throughout the day. The laborers hired at daybreak agree to work for a denarius, the standard daily wage for a laborer in Jesus’ day. At the end of the day, the master pays everyone, including those hired for only one hour, a denarius. The laborers hired at daybreak say, “That’s not fair! We worked all day long! We should get more!” The master reminds them that they agreed to work in his field for a denarius. He gives them exactly what he promised them. In his grace, he’s entitled to give as he sees fit.
The parable tells how God rewards His faithful workers. He calls people throughout their lives to work in His vineyard. The work involves living faithful lives from the time God calls us until we die. No matter when we faithfully answer the call – early or late in life, the reward is the same for every faithful child of God – eternal life in heaven; even though we don’t deserve it. We’re given our eternal denarius because of what God does to us and for us. God finds us – standing around. He calls us – to work for Him. He provides for us – all we need. It doesn’t matter if we faithfully respond to Him for decades, days, or less – only that we’re faithful to the end. Then, because of our faith in Jesus, He gives us all the same eternal denarius – eternal life.
Your Fellow Laborer,