Mathew 20:1-16 “What Will You Earn”
The final group of parables that Jesus shares are the parables of the end times. The parable of the vineyard workers is the one we look at today.
Here is a strange case of pay equality. No gender gap, women and men are all paid the same, a denarius. The rub comes at the end of the day when all the workers received their denarius. Those worked all day felt they should get more. Isn’t it human nature.
The denarius represents eternal life and the riches of heaven. Everyone who comes to Jesus gets the same. The person who follows Jesus from their first word to the person who accepts Jesus on the last day of their life all go to the same heaven. None of the workers were in the field long enough to earn what they got paid.
I was at the Vasaloppet race last year. It was getting toward the end of the day, the winners having crossed the finish line many hours ago. But as people came off the lake and up the hill by the Library, they received the same bells clanging and shouts of joy for they had made it.
As followers of Jesus we need to remember God’s goal finishing the race of life not who got there first.
But there are differences between those who come first to the field and those who come last.
The longer they worked in the field the more they enjoyed the presence of Jesus in their life
The more God helped them through life
There is the confidence and assurance they have eternal life ahead.
The late commers suffered before they came to the field,
They also did not enjoy the love of Jesus each day like those who came early
Instead of being upset because they get the same eternal life we do we should be glad they made it.
A friend Clive and I were climbing Mt. Whitney. Clive wanted to take a break and told me to go on ahead. I went on to the top and had been sitting there for 20 or 30 minutes when Clive finally showed up. We signed the log book together. Sat on a rock and enjoyed the view. We both enjoyed the same view and thrill of being at the top. I just got to enjoy it sooner and longer than Clive.
As we see people come to Jesus we can rejoice that they have finally made it. Celebrate they have finished the race. And we can celebrate all years that we have enjoyed the presence of God in our lives and the blessing of God in our lives. We have not worked in the fields alone nor have we worked in vain. Every year in the presence of God is a blessing worth all the work for God we could ever do.
So break out the bells and ring them loud for everyone who finishes the race.