Fair is Fair?


I have discussed today’s Gospel passage from Matthew 20:1-16 with several people and usually the jest of our discussion comes out as not being fair. So Jesus says that the “Kingdom of Heaven is like” before he tells the “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.” My goal as a Christian is eternal life in heaven with the hope of bringing as many people as I can with me. The provoking thought and question of today for me would be, if heaven is like this parable, will I be able to accept its terms?

A landowner goes out to hire laborers in his vineyard. He hires some at 9am, at noon, at 3pm and at 5pm. At the end of the day, he first pays the ones that started at 5pm and continues in reverse order. He paid every one of them the same wage. The ones who worked longer grumbled and thought they should get paid more. What do you think? Today’s society would tell you it is not fair and the ones working longer hours should get paid more. I guess it was not a union job!

Here is the landowner’s response to the grumblers … My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous? Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

If heaven is like this, I am thankful that we, first of all, have a Heavenly Father that is so generous. I realize that this passage has some deeper and significant meaning to the Jewish leaders and people of this time, but it speaks to me about always doing my best and eliminating my pride. If someone gets credit for something I worked long and hard for, I must be humble and thankful for accomplishing the goal regardless of not being honored or recognized for my work. God knows and He permits it for His reason. If this is like heaven, I need to get used to it. God’s will be done, not mine.

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Mike Burke; Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Fair is Fair?

4 thoughts on “Fair is Fair?

  1. The True Light! says:

    Mike, I studied this parable not long ago. We need to see this in terms of the spiritual, not the worldly. In Godly terms, what Jesus is saying is that all believers come to God at different times in their lives. Some may come to Him at age 16, (the workers hired earlier), and some may come at age 60, (the workers hired later).

    Yet God in His gracious love and mercy will give each believer the same rewards no matter when they come to believe, (the reason all got paid the same amount of money). Now you are right about verse 16 being directed to the Pharisees, but I’m not completely clear on its meaning.

    I hope this helps some…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, your study makes complete sense to me and is a powerful message. I really like applying different aspects that I believe the Holy Spirit invokes in my life areas. I appreciate your comments. I will grow and learn.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a hard parable to take, like some of Jesus’ others. However, I believe (and hope) that we will be so happy in heaven that we will not mind sharing the joy with others, even if they came to the Lord at “the end of the day,” so to speak! I think it’s only when we are unhappy ourselves that we are tempted to begrudge the happiness of others; when we do not have enough confidence, that’s when we want the recognition and approval from others. This is part of the human condition, which will not be the case once we are in heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

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