“‘Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” vss. 15-16
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard seems designed to provoke lifelong believers. The story Jesus tells is, by our standards, profoundly unfair. It undercuts all of our convictions about equal pay for equal work and would be bound to destroy morale in the workforce if an employer actually put it into practice. In our world, that owner would have picketers marching in front of his vineyard the next day. So what gives? Obviously, Jesus isn’t telling us how to run our businesses, so what’s his point? It could be that he wants to make a point with the religious establishment, namely, that Gentile believers have a home in God’s kingdom, even though they’ve always been outsiders. Or, it could be that Jesus wants to hammer home a point about the radical nature of grace; that a gracious and merciful God extends steadfast love to all, whether they deserve it or not. If that is the case, then the blessings of kingdom living are not a reward but a gift…and they are freely given to all who will receive them, regardless of status or standing. Those of us who take pride in our goodness may be offended by that, but that’s our problem, not God’s. And God’s word to us is plain, “Live with it!!!”
Thought for the Day: What offends me about grace?