I wanted to share some highlights from a discussion we had in the RISE class on Sunday morning. We were studying Jesus' parable of the Workers in the Vineyard found in Matthew 20:1-16. As many of you are familiar with Jesus tells the story of a landowner who goes out early in the morning seeking workers for his vineyard. He hires several workers who agree on the wage of 1 denarius for a day's work. This was a common and fair wage. Then as they progresses the landowner continues to add workers to the project, some begin at noon, some begin 3 o'clock and the last crew begins working at 5 o'clock (an hour before the workday ends).
When the time comes for the workers to be paid each of them are paid the same amount, 1 denarius. Immediately, the workers who began early in the morning became enraged that they received the same amount as those who only worked for an hour, even though that's the wage they agreed on. That's not fair!! they said. This is a rather familiar phrase in our culture today, isn't it? Everyone, it seems is appealing to this concept of fairness. It begs several questions; "what is fairness and justice?" Who gets to decide what is fair? Does justice only deal with the distribution of wealth?
In verse 15 we read the landowner's response; "Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?" What is Jesus getting at in this parable? What are the spiritual implications?
Does God's gracious generosity to others cause us to be angry? If it does we need to be reminded that we are also saved on the merits of Jesus Christ alone. Romans 3:27a states; "Where then is boasting? It is excluded..." We are all saved by grace through faith alone. We deserve nothing good from a holy God but in Christ we have been freely given all things! how great is our God!!