Matthew 20:13-15 – But [the landowner] answered one of [the workers], "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?" (NIV 2011)
My dad was a hard-working engineer for most of his life, and he provided for my mother and our large family as well as he could. Like most of his generation, he was a proud man and would rather do an honest day's work for an honest wage than take benefits from the government. There were only two times when I remember him being unemployed, when the manufacturing and steel plants that he worked for were closed. He personally struggled during those hard times, but he got up each day and went out early in the morning to go and look for work. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to maintain our family through those lean times. I think that he took any job that he could find, just to make sure that we were all fed, clothed, and sheltered. To this day, he remains the greatest hero in my life.
Christ's parable about the landowner and the workers in the vineyard used to seem unfair and unjust to me because I could picture my dad toiling for a whole day and ending up with the same wages as the latecomers. However, as the years have gone by, I realize that the parable is not about ownership, labour, or fairness — it's all about the grace of God and how His mercy and love are available for everyone up until the last minute of life. I've tried to live the Christian life for almost forty years, but I know that people who just accepted Jesus as their Saviour forty seconds ago will end up getting the same reward and eternal blessing. It's how God works, and this is why His grace is often called "amazing".
Whoever you are or whatever you've done, please know this today: God's forgiveness, mercy, and grace are available for you right now. By personally accepting Jesus as Your Saviour, you automatically become a child of grace and will be loved by Him forever.
Points to ponder: Am I looking to be forgiven, accepted, and loved? Am I willing to come to Christ to receive these blessings now?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely, and yet, despite our mistakes, regrets, and failures, You are still willing to accept and embrace us, as well as to redeem and restore us to God's everlasting favour and love. Help us, this day, to place our hearts and minds, spirits and lives into Your precious hands. Amen.
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