The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
There is a parable in Matthew 19:30-20:16 about a vineyard owner who goes out to hire workers for an agreed upon amount for a day’s work. Later he sends his steward out to hire more. Three more times, hours apart, more workers are hired. When it was time to get paid they were all paid equally. This upset the ones who had been laboring all along.
The parable says several different things to me:
1. People who are saved earlier than others shouldn’t feel superior. All men, no matter what stage in their life, are equally precious to God. The thief on the cross next to Jesus slid in under the wire. There’s a hymn called “To God Be the Glory” where the second verse says, “O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, to every believer, the promise of God: the vilest offender who truly believes – that moment from Jesus – a pardon receives.”
2. We don’t earn what He gives – it’s grace.
3. God doesn’t compare our service with others, but how much we give of ourselves and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others either.
If we are saved early in life we should be grateful that we had a chance to live with the fruits of the spirit: joy, love, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, self-control and patience. If we are saved at the end of our life we should be grateful period!
My dad was a Christian Scientist and got cancer when he was 65 years old. He died eleven months after they found it. During that time, when you could say he was in the eleventh hour of the day, or his life, our pastor who had been visiting with him during his illness baptized him.
Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved thru faith and this is not your own doing – it is a gift from God.”
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