If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here.
Then focus on the following section:
1”For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning
to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day
and sent them into his vineyard. 3”About the third hour he went out and saw others
standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in
my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So they went. “He went out again
about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh
hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have
you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7” ‘Because no one has hired
us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8”When
evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and
pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9”The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received
a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive
more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they
began to grumble against the landowner. 12’These men who were hired last worked
only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne
the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13”But he answered one of them,
‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take
your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.
15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious
because I am generous?’ 16”So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
1. This story troubles many. It seems obvious that the owner of the vineyard wasn’t
being fair. Jesus is saying that some people want to put relationship with God on
a equal-work-equal-pay basis. And these folks often assume they’ll be rewarded
for being so busy.
2. Relationship with God is based on his generosity (v15), his grace, not our works.
We don’t advance spiritually by being busy.
3. Are you becoming so caught up in doing things for God that you forget to simply
love Him? Do you forget to stop, listen to people, and try to respond to their
needs? Are you actually drying up spiritually but still spending your energies in
an unproductive way? What is God telling you?
Prayer & Journaling:
On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions,
words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today: Prov 3:21-23