“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” [Matthew 20:1-16]
Go ahead and read these verses. Jesus often taught in parables in order to teach a complicated idea in a simple way. In this parable, Jesus relates the Kingdom of God to a vineyard.
What Does It Say
In Jesus’s parable, a landowner hires people to work in his vineyard. He agreed on a price and hired a group of workers. Later in the day, he went out again and hired another group of workers. He keeps hiring workers throughout the day into the late afternoon, so that by the time the last group is hired, they only work one hour. At the end of the day, the landowner brought together the workers in order to pay them. When every worker received the same payment, those who were hired earlier in the day complained about getting paid the same as those hired later. The landlord became aggravated and reminded them that they had agreed on a fair wage.
Through this parable, Jesus reveals the grace of God. The morning workers received a fair wage, which means that the people who worked for an hour got a great deal. Their payment was unfair, but in their favor. The landowner gave a day’s wages for one hour of work. So how does this apply to God’s Kingdom? What is God’s gift to us? The answer is Salvation and a relationship with Him. John 17:3 says, “This is eternal life, that they may know You [God], the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” God offers Himself. He offers forgiveness of sin, and we don’t have to earn it. God gives this gift to all who believe. Even if you think you have done terrible things, God shows no favorites and gives this gift to all who choose to follow Him. No one is too far gone. God is a gracious God. No matter how long or how hard a believer works during their lifetime, the reward of eternal life will be the same given to all.
Take a few minutes to think about this grace, and thank Him for what He has done. Ask Him to show you how He wants you to respond.
Father, thank You for Your grace. Show me what this means for my life. Give me the humility to receive this grace, and to share this Good News with others. Amen.