3“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing.4So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day.5So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.
6“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’
7“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’
8“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.9When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage.10When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage.11When they received their pay, they protested to the owner,12‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’
13“He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage?14Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you.15Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’
16“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
Very few people read this without complaining about how unfair the landowner is, but lets look at what we can learn from this.
The first workers labored in the “scorching sun” from sun up, to sun down. It is possible, if we are lucky, that we will work all our lives in God’s vineyard. Notice, that working for God can be a long time in the scorching sun. I would suggest that the scorching sun is the heat of trials and temptations. Yet, if we are so lucky, we must realize we were unemployed leading lives of fruitless loitering in the town square when God chose us to work for him. He pays us exactly what we agreed to. If you think this is you, dont complain.
Look at what jealousy really cost the first workers. Don’t you think those workers hired at 5:00 PM were rejoicing at their good fortune? Some of them probably went to the local pub and bought a round! The first workers could have been truly happy for their good fortune and shared in their joy. But no, instead of sharing in the joy of the other person’s good fortune their jealousy turned what could have been a good, happy day into a sour bitter experience. Why do that? Do you rain on people’s parade? No one was cheated, some were just blessed. Please don’t let jealousy steal the opportunity to share in another’s joy. Joy is worth far more than a little money anyway.
Now considering God goes back and hires people 4 more times that day, it would be reasonable to assume that most of the workers did NOT work the entire day. I know I am one of these workers, not one of the first workers. I haven’t always been working for God. As a matter of fact, I’ve worked a lot in Satan’s vineyard and I can tell you when he employs you, instead of paying you, he takes all you have. Have you REALLY worked every minute of your life in God’s vineyard?
I have been grossly over-paid for my service to God. How about you?
Lord, change my heart so I truly rejoice at the good fortune of others and am grateful to work for you in your vineyard. Change me Lord, change me. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*