Thought for The Day – Saturday 26th March

Lent-thought-for-the-day

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“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.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These 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.’

“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus tells the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard in response to Peter’s question “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Peter wanted to know what reward would be given to those who give up everything to follow Jesus. The lesson of this parable is that God rewards us based upon the opportunities that He gives us. The later workers would have been willing to go to work earlier, but they were not given the opportunity by the employer. The landowner, whose decision to pay all the workers the same was an act of mercy—not injustice—represents God, whose grace and mercy are given profusely to those of His choosing.

The message in verse 16, “the last will be first, and the first last,” is that no matter how long or how hard a believer works during his lifetime, the reward of eternal life will be the same given to all—an eternity of bliss in heaven in the presence of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Dear God,

Help me to overcome any bitterness about the unfairness of life. Encourage me to show kindness to those around me have a forgiving attitude.

Amen.

Action: Life is sometimes unfair. We experience loss, pain, and injury. Sometimes terrible things happen to us through no fault of our own. We want someone or something to blame – we believe that God has failed us. Our action is to remember that when life seems unfair and we start to blame God and turn away from Him, that is the time he is with us most – we just don’t know it at the time.

This Thought was written by Anne Macintosh

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