PARABLES DAY 21 - 29 May 2018

Ben Fourie

“… Or are you jealous because I am generous?” Matthew 20:15b)

The parable about the workers who started work at different hours during the day, but were paid the same amount at the end of the workday sounds a bit unfair to those who worked the whole day and that is precisely how they reacted. In chapter 20:12 they complained to the employer: “These men who were hired last worked only one hour while we put up with a whole day’s work in the hot sun – yet you paid them the same as you paid us!” This does not sounds fair. Even in our modern times, long service does count.

To really understand this parable we need to look at chapter 19 where we read about a rich young man who was so attached to his possessions that he preferred them when given the choice between possessions and following Jesus. When he turned his back on Jesus, Jesus said that it was very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God, at which the disciples said: “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus then answered: “This is impossible for human beings but for God everything is possible.”

To illustrate how God can make even the impossible possible, Jesus then told the parable of the workers who were paid the same for different hours of work. The crucial sentence is where the employer says to the worker who complained: “Don’t I have the right to do as I wish with my own money?” Indeed, the employer made a contract with each of them and, therefore, does not treat anyone unjustly.

The most important lesson Jesus wants us to hear is that nobody is too bad or too good, it is not too early or too late to be saved by Him and it is not for us to say who, when and how He should save people. After all, nothing is impossible for God. Somebody recently said to me that there probably was great rejoicing in heaven when Billy Graham arrived there. Yes, but I think there is even more rejoicing about every sinner, even a latecomer, who makes it.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you have paid me the full amount. Amen

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