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  • Sam Matthews. K

231. Kingdom parable-11

Updated: Jul 23, 2023


"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 ( 9 am ) he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in the vineyard and I will pay you whatever is right.' ... He went out again about the sixth hour ( 12 pm ) and the ninth hour ( 3pm ) and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour ( 5 pm ) he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why are you standing here all day long doing nothing?' 'Because no one has hired us', they answered. He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' 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. When they received it, they began to grumble ... 'These men who were hired the last worked only for 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.' But he answered ..., '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?'" - (Matthew 20:1-15)

It might seem to us that the owner of the vineyard is more concerned about the unhired workers idling away their time but infact he is more concerned about getting the work in the vineyard completed on time; that he is hiring workers right, left and centre, from among the Pentecostals, Episcopals and others in the centre who swear no allegiance to any sects. The 'Lord of the harvest' is not concerned about our spiritual leanings ( tendency or partiality to a particular kind; inclination) but hires whomever he finds, wherever he finds, whenever he finds, because 'the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.' - (Matthew 9:37) Nor is he concerned about the resources running out but is generous with it because he is passionate about getting the work done in his vineyard at all costs! "My food", said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hardwork and you have reaped the benefits of their labour." - (John 4:34-38) Each generation has laid the foundation for the other and we ought to complete the work begun by them and handed over to us, so that we all can rejoice together in eternity. Each one will be rewarded for their faithfulness and not for the duration of time they worked in the vineyard. We are coming to the closing moments of this dispensation of grace or the Church age. Some were saved and were called to the Lord's service much earlier on in life while others entered the Lord's service at the eleventh hour of their lives or towards the end of this dispensation. Yet they also get a chance to prove their grit (courage and resolve; strength of character) even in the short run. But many who had started earlier on, have fallen behind! "So the last will be first and the first will be last." - (Matthew 20:16) It's time that we pick up our pace and 'finish the race and keep the faith' - (1 Timothy 4:7) because the time is coming when the owner of the vineyard will call in his workers and give them their rewards. "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." - (Revelation 22:12) Amen.

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