Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
Note that in the previous passages (Matthew 19:16-30), the subject was about salvation, following the Lord, and eternal rewards. In this succeeding passage, the kingdom of heaven is likened to a landowner seeking for people to work in his vineyard.
We know the story–workers were found early in the morning who agreed to be paid a denarius for the day. Then more workers were found during the third hour, the sixth hour, the ninth hour, and even at the eleventh hour.
When evening came, those hired last were paid first–a denarius for each. So when it was the turn of those who were hired first–they expected more! But each was paid a denarius as well, much to their chagrin. “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” (v.12).
But the landowner said that he was not being unfair–wages had been agreed, the contract was complied with. And so is with the kingdom of heaven–God’s offer of salvation is equal for us all, regardless of race, age, social and economic backgrounds–we can all enter in for a certain grace period. My friend, enter the kingdom while the gate is still open, we might not know if this is already the eleventh hour….
“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” – John 6:28-29 (NKJV)
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” – John 12:32 (NKJV)