Matthew – Fulfilled.
We seem to spend an enormous amount of precious time in life thinking about what is fair. Were we treated fairly at a place of business? If not, we groan and maybe angrily tell them about it. Is it fair to work hard for a promotion and see it given to someone who is always late and does half the work when they do get there? Is it fair for some family members to be rewarded and some cast aside and thought of as unworthy? Is it fair to stand in line only to find out that the product is no longer available? What’s fair?
Maybe we are asking the wrong question. What’s in my heart? Why do I do what I do? Do I work hard to get something in return? OR do I work with enthusiasm to please the One who saved me and gave me eternal life? What is my motivation for following God and serving Him with all that is in me? Jesus tells us a story to address what is “fair” in God’s Kingdom. The Great Reversal is a new way to think and behave. Listen…
Matthew 20, The Message
A Story About Workers
20 1-2 “God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work.
3-5 “Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.
5-6 “He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’
7 “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
8 “When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’
9-12 “Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’
13-15 “He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’
16 “Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”
What do we learn?
–We need to examine our hearts and repent of those things that break God’s heart.
–Who are we trying to please?
–Why do we do what we do?
–Life here is not fair…but is it about being fair? God is just. God knows our hearts. He will decide what is fair for us.
–What does God require of us? Micah tells us, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV) And Jesus explains it.
–Now live it. Stop worrying about what is fair.
In Jesus Name, Amen