“But he [the landowner] answered one of them [the hired workers], ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ (Matt 20:13-15)
Every so often you will hear about an athlete under contract who wants his contract ripped up due to jealousy over a new player getting more money. “If you don’t tear up that contract and give me a better one”, he tells the team owner, “I refuse to play. After all, I am a star who deserves to be the highest-paid player on the team.”
Does the team owner have the right to pay the new player what he wishes and to say, “I can do what I want with my own money”?
Does Jesus have the right to bless any other believer more than I?
In today’s parable, “The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard”, the later-hired workers get told by the owner “I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went to work. They were glad to get any work, they didn’t even ask what they would be paid. The guys who worked all day got paid the same amount as the guys who worked fewer hours. But the first-hired don’t regard the owner as being generous to the new hires, but rather as being stingy to themselves!
Do I rejoice in others’ blessing, or does it tick me off a little bit?
How much of a feeling of entitlement do I have?
Notice how the Parable concludes:
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matt 20:16
What a contrast between the thankful-for-grace person and the entitled person!
I can grow to be more and more thankful for any grace that is given to me, and less and less concerned about what someone else gets —- except to be rejoicing when they do receive more grace.
May our thankfulness for Jesus’ grace working in our own lives life and others’ lives increase!