“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.” vss. 8-9
Where God is in charge surprises abound. Jesus says that it’s like someone laboring in a vineyard for an hour, and then receiving a full day’s wages. Imagine what that would feel like–to open a pay envelope and find there $180 instead of the expected fifteen–you’d think you’d died and gone to heaven! And that’s what every day is like for the people of God! We receive far more than we deserve–all the abundance of God’s goodness is ours to enjoy for eternity, and we have it by grace, and not because we’ve earned it. For some that’s not a comfortable notion, they would rather believe that, even if we didn’t do a lot to deserve our pay, we at least have to do something. And it is true that in the parable, even the late comers labored for an hour. The problem is that such a focus can only lead to the conclusion that the owner is unjust–which was the complaint of some laborers. But that wasn’t Jesus’ point. He wants us to know that God’s mercy is boundless, and it’s extended to all, even when we’re undeserving. That’s a sustaining truth, one that will lift us through any number of down days. How good it is to have a God who loves extravagantly!
Thought for the Day: When do I feel most loved?