Matthew chapter 20

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The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 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?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“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.’

“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.”

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time

17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

A Mother’s Request

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

21 “What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Two Blind Men Receive Sight

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

(O)

The parable of the vineyard worker is an interesting one. There is definitely a couple lessons in this one. First, having been in a position where I was part of hiring employees, this hits home. When someone hears that maybe another person is making more than them or maybe the same amount but you feel you work harder, attitudes change.  I’ve heard it said so many times by employees that were clearly disgruntled about their pay that they would perform better if they got a raise. Nope, not once did that ever come true. Attitude does not change with raises. If we can’t find contentment in what we already have, we will not find contentment if we get more.

The other thing that popped to mind was how sometimes people, who let’s say have always lived the Christian life,  have a hard time accepting that we can live a sinful life and then literally last minute give our lives to Jesus and enter heaven, the same as them. It seems terribly unfair to them. It would be hard to swallow, i can see that. What if Hitler would have repented on his deathbed, could we really rejoice in that? But in the parable, the vineyard owner asked ‘can’t I do what I want with my money? are you upset because I’m generous?’   Isn’t this the story of grace? Can God not give it in whatever way He sees best? Absolutely He can, and He did when Jesus shed His blood for each of us. Forgiveness is for all who accept it, the Holy Spirit is for all who accept it, heaven is for all who accept it.

Again we see Jesus preparing His disciples for His upcoming crucifixion.

(A)

It got me thinking today about my own attitude. Do I ever write off people because they clearly are not interested in God? Do I give up on them? Have I ever scoffed at someone who was proclaiming repentance, and I didn’t believe them or couldn’t find joy and celebrate it? I know I’ve done that in the past, I hope I don’t sub-consciously do that now?
(P)
God, you are so full of grace. You are good and just. Your plan is for all mankind to be saved and your forgiveness is for each of us that accept it. We thank you for that, but forgive us when we feel someone is not deserving. Who are we to judge that? Thank you for your blessings and your love for each of us. In Jesus name, amen.

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