Matthew 20: 1-16

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About the third hour he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have bore the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man 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?’

“So the last will be first and the first will be last.”

A Thought

We must focus on the fact that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. None of us deserve to enter the kingdom of heaven and it is not something that we can earn by work. The wages that we should all receive is death (the separation from God). But because of the love the Father has for us, He sent his son, Jesus Christ to earth to live, to die, and to be resurrected to pay the price of our sins. This is called the grace of God–giving us all the same opportunity to humble ourselves in repentance (being sorry for our disobedience to God-sin) to receive the right to be called the children of God. Regardless of what we have done–good or bad–we must all come to Jesus in humble repentance to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the only way!

Our Prayer

Father thank you that you have prepared the way possible for all who will receive your grace to enter your kingdom of heaven. Thank you for our new life in you. Awaken us by the power of your Spirit to keep our focus centered around serving you and others. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.