Matthew _20

Scripture

Matthew 20:20,16

12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

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

Observation

Jesus was describing what the kingdom of heaven was like. He compared it to a landowner who went out to hire laborers to work in his vineyard. Some he found early in the morning and agreed to pay them a denarius, a whole days wage. Others he found later at different times even towards the end of the day, and paid them the same amount as the laborers who started in the morning. Say what!?

Understanding

Father God is so good!

Ephesians 2:7-8  “7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

I am humbled by God’s generosity of love.I get to share in the inheritance no matter when I started. Father God is so good! I don’t deserve any reward! Certainly not the same reward of those that have gone before me.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to have been laboring, putting in the time and effort for so long only to receive the same reward.

Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

However, I think in this scripture Jesus was commenting on the first workers complaining, bad attitude toward unfair division of wages, and desire to be recognized for hours of laborious work. Their heart was ugly toward their fellow laborers who came in late. He should have shown gratitude for the wages and  having a fellow laborer to help, the humility to be happy for the latecomer who was receiving such an amazing wage!

Application

Desire to serve over wanting to be used.

When we want to be used it comes with a longing to be seen for our work and to be recognized for our gifts and talents. When we desire to serve it comes with a longing to do what is being asked of us even if it doesn’t fit into our gifts and talents and it remains unseen.

Let’s be okay with being unnoticed, outranked, and unpaid. Store up treasure in heaven. Let’s rejoice with our brothers and sisters who come into the kingdom of heaven and share in the same inheritance.
 
Matthew 20:28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Humility and gratitude are always the right response. Do away with pride and allow humility to reveal our true condition.

Father, thank you for your salvation through your son Jesus Christ that allows me to be a laborer in your kingdom. We take off our pride that distorts the truth and put on humility that reveals our true condition. Holy Spirit come empower us to work alongside my brothers and sisters with a happy heart of gratitude for them coming into the kingdom and forever grateful for your immeasurable grace and mercy! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee