Thursday 24 March 2022

Matthew 20:1-16

1 “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.”

This beautiful scripture is again about a farmer, in fact a vineyard landowner who employs people to work for him.  Those who begin the day with work and those who join in later in the day.  The reward in wages is the same no matter how long they worked for and no matter what job they are given.

Jesus is soon to head to Jerusalem.  He is challenging the disciples (and us) about comparison, jealousy, favour, attitudes that could tear them apart rather than work together for the Kingdom.

We can look around the world and even in our locality and find people who “seem to have it easy”.  Maybe they have no financial issues, maybe no health issues, maybe no challenges – that we can see!!  Then we see others who seem to suffer continually.  However, God always looks at the heart.  He looks at how we respond.

In Romans 12 v 15:  We are called to rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, and weep with those who weep.  Comparison is an ugly disease, an enemy of the Gospel of Jesus. 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to look at the heart of people.  Help me to better walk the journey with others.  Help me not to be awed or jealous by peoples’ circumstances and blessings but help me to respond with grace.  Keep my radar as to how to better love like Jesus did.  Amen. 

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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