September 20

Matthew 20:10-16

“And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’” vss. 11-12

Folks weren’t much different in Jesus’ day than they are now. No one liked it when hard-workers didn’t get credit for their labor, particularly when those perceived to be slackers received equal compensation. Everyone could relate to the complaint leveled against the landowner in Jesus’ parable–and so can we. During this time of massive unemployment and large government bailouts, hard-working, tax-paying citizens have been very aware of inequities, and we can’t blame them. In our hearts we believe that everyone should get just what they’ve earned, and not one penny more or less. But that’s not how it works with God’s mercy and grace! Where God rules, we don’t get what we deserve, none of us do. All people, even sinners and ne’er-do-wells, receive the gift of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ, and it doesn’t make any difference how many times we’ve stumbled or fallen. Some of us find that to be incredibly good news, but others grumble. They wonder why they’ve even bothered being decent folks and fail to see that goodness is its own reward. Of course it’s wonderful when we manage, mostly by luck and happenstance, to lead praiseworthy lives, but it’s spectacular when the broken and hurting are blessed far beyond their expectations. 

Thought for the Day: How does it feel to get more than you deserve?

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