Sunday, January 20, 2013

Do We Want Justice?

In a continuation of yesterday’s theme, I thought we could look at Matthew 20 at the parable of the workers in the vineyard. I will paraphrase the story. If you are unfamiliar with it, please open your Bible (or browser) to Matthew chapter 20, verse 1-16. (Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

A landowner goes out early in the morning and hires workers who agree to work all day for a denarius (a small silver coin).  He goes out again three more times throughout the day and brings more workers, agreeing to pay each “whatever is right.” After the long day was over the landowner gathers the workers to pay them. He starts with those hired last; those who worked the fewest hours, and paid them each one denarius.  He continued in this manner paying each worker the same amount regardless of the number of hours worked.

At this point the labor union was contacted, because clearly something fishy was going on here. Ok, just kidding, but the men who worked all day in the heat were very unhappy. These men wanted justice. They felt they deserved more money. The landowner says he has done nothing wrong. The workers were paid the wage they agreed to, and it is lawful for him to be generous with his money.

In this parable we see an image of God the Father. He calls some early in their lives, others come later in life. Some amass fortunes, others go to bed hungry. It is by grace alone, through faith, that we are saved. We cannot compare ourselves to others. Justice demands God to punish all, but instead, God who is rich in mercy, saves some. Who are we to question the manner in which He brings this about or His timing in doing it?

We must not look at other people with envy, thinking we should have what they have or that we deserve more. Do we want justice? If we do we will find punishment. God forbid we receive justice! We should be very grateful and must be content, for all that we have is of grace.

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