Make a hot drink, settle into a comfy chair and take some time to read through the following devotion that Pastor Milton has written for you…
You might like to start with this prayer:
God – it is good to spend time with you. Calm my thoughts. Help me to hear you. Thank you for coming into my life in this moment. Amen
It’s not fair!
Read through this slowly. Pause and read it again.
Stay with it for a moment. What stands out to you?
So the last will be first, and the first will be last. (Matthew 20:16).
You might like to read all of Matthew Chapter 20:1-16
The Parable of the workers in the vineyard.
That’s how I always feel whenever I hear this parable of Jesus. From the first time that I heard the parable of the workers in the vineyard at Sunday School, until now, my first thought is that it’s not fair. It’s not fair that those first lot of workers didn’t receive more pay than the last lot that only worked for one hour! Perhaps you feel the same way whenever you hear this parable?
The problem is that we are looking at the parable from our fallen, sinful human perspective. This is a parable about the kingdom of heaven. It is a parable about God’s desire to give his good gifts to those whom he chooses to. In this case, God is like the landowner who chooses to pay the other workers in his vineyard the same daily wage that the first group agreed to when they were hired in the market-place early in the morning.
When you think about it, it’s not fair that Jesus had to walk the way to the cross and suffer the terrible punishment in our place.
It’s not fair that Jesus offers the forgiveness to all who truly repent of their sins, including the most vilest sins that we can think of.
It’s not fair God in Christ treats everyone the same, irrespective of their background, or what they have done or haven’t done in their lives, according to our human standards.
When you think about it, I am glad that God in Christ doesn’t treat us in the way that we would treat each other. Why? Because our sense of fairness is flawed. We are always guilty of thinking what Peter said to Jesus: “What then will we have?” (Matthew 19:27). In other words, he is saying, “we have done all this, what will we get as a reward?”
God answers this question as he answered Paul’s request to remove the “thorn in the flesh,”
My grace is sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Let us all simply, humbly receive and live under God’s grace. Let us trust that God always treats us fairly, not according to our flawed human standards, but according to his divine right and good standards. And he does this because he loves us.
Loving gracious heavenly Father. We give you thanks and praise that you desire to give good gifts to each one of us, even though we don’t deserve them, nor have we earnt them. Help each one of us to live under your good grace each and every day. Help each one of us to continue to trust in you. Help each one of us to show the same grace and mercy to one another.
Take a moment to add any other prayers that are on your heart.