Devotional – Matthew 20

For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 

This simple parable told by Jesus about a man who hires day laborers to work in his vineyard is actually a profound story of God’s sovereignty and grace. Let’s consider his grace first which appears at two points in the story. First, it was not uncommon in the world at that time to hire day laborers and give them their wage at the end of the day, but this master hires people throughout the day even up to an hour before the work for the day would have been done. All day these men would have been looking for work so they could feed their family for the day, but with only an hour left in the day what hope would they have, but along comes a gracious and generous master who hires them giving them the opportunity to put some food on the table. The grace of the master is extended even further at the end of the parable when those who only worked an hour were paid the same wage as those who had worked all day. This is the graciousness of this master and it speaks to the graciousness of our God. But God is not just gracious, he his sovereignly gracious – meaning he gives his grace to whom he will. In the story the grace of the master was to give all workers a full days wage no matter how long they worked, but some grumbled because they thought they deserved more. Since grace is a gift and the blessings that come along with that grace are also gifts God is free to give them according to his own desires, so he is able to shower one with more blessings then another, but both have received their gifts out of the abundance of God’s grace. So we should learn from this parable that we are all undeserving of anything good from God and the gifts he gives us come because he chooses to be gracious to us, and in his sovereignty he chooses to impart his blessings disproportionately, but it’s still grace and gracious. So let’s not begrudge God because we think we deserve more of his blessings, let us be grateful that he was gracious to us at all.

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