Wednesday, March 7, 2012

All in a Day's Work

Matthew 20:1-16

20:7b Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

Our Lord is just and fair. Beyond that, He is gracious! In this kingdom parable, the householder is representative of God, the goodman of the house, Jesus, and the laborers, those who are pressed into the service of the Lord.

It is unfortunate that negativity arose among workers who should have been grateful, but instead were resentful. They had agreed upon a day's wages for a day's work. No problem there. But when others who were hired late in the day received a day's wages for a mere hour's work, they immediately went to their union steward and filed a grievance. The union steward made a report to the Palestinian Labor Relations Board which made an official complaint to the foreman.

"You can't pay the apprentices the same thing you pay the experienced master grape craftsmen, it just ain't right."

But the foreman went into the office, pulled all the files, and showed the union bosses the signed contracts which agreed to a day's pay for a day's work. They didn't have a leg to stand on and reported back to the members of IGWU (International Grape Worker's Union) that they had indeed been treated fair and legal. They wouldn't be allowed to even go on strike.

Here is the perspective the workers should have struck:
1) In this economy, be thankful you have a good job.
2) Be grateful for a boss with a heart. That is rare.
3) Because of the outfit you work for, unemployment is way down.
4) Rejoice that you received enough help later in the day to get the job done.
5) The boss keeps his word. Learn to appreciate that in a day when most employers only care about the bottom line.
6) Tomorrow is another day. You get the privilege of working again and collecting a paycheck!

Now, the spiritual application, just so we don't miss the point. Some people are saved early on in life and serve the Lord throughout. Some become believers in midlife. But there are those who come to faith in Christ on their death beds, or in the case of one man, on his death cross. These last brothers and sisters barely had a chance to lift a finger for the Master because they had served self and the enemy their whole lives. But, the fact is, the Boss sough them out and enlisted their services. The payday for each and all of these believers? Sins completely forgiven, eternal life with God in heaven and a mansion just over the hilltop.

What a gracious God, Who is not willing that any should perish, but receives sons and daughters even in the very last hour. He then makes them every bit as precious and welcome as the children who served through the heat of the day!

Break’s over, get back to work!


Teresa said...

Question for you, Pastor: Should we just keep our eyes on our own reward, and not worry about someone else's then?

We could just ignore the fact of a reward, and just work out of love for God. But God told us about heaven for a reason. He wants it to be a shining hope for us to share with others.

Maybe the main lesson in this parable is just about trusting the Lord to be fair and just. Whether there is a reward or not for anybody is not as important as having a loving, trusting relationship with God NOW, before it's too late. Late in the day, late in life...whatever. What do you think?

Pastor Fuller said...

Sis, thanks for commenting and for you good question. I believe rewards are a great incentive, but secondary to glorifying God. We know of the five crowns granted at the judgment seat of Christ. Am am hoping for some of these, but in the end, they are to be cast back at His feet. So, even our rewards will redound to His glory. Blessings!