First and Last, Part 3

Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus answers a rich young man who asks what he must do to inherit eternal life that he must sell his wealth, give to the poor, and follow Jesus.  His wealth that many supposed was a sign of God’s approval of his life style was not necessarily a good indicator of salvation.  Wealth can be deceptive.  The disciples ask.  If riches do not indicate salvation, what does that mean for ordinary people?   What is the disciples’ reward for their faithfulness?  Jesus responds that God sees and responds 100 fold.  They will be surprised who is last and who is first in the kingdom of heaven.

         Jesus tells a parable.  A landowner goes to the town square and hires day laborers at a certain rate.  The man goes back to the square every three hours and hires those unemployed.  No reason or justification is given.  At the end of the day, those who worked a little were paid the same as those who worked all day.  The workers object to the unfairness.  We live in a tit for tat world and should be paid more than those that worked a little.  Life is unfair!!!  The kingdom of this world is unfair.

         Not only is this world unfair but also all of us need the mercy shown by the landowner.  God decides how to reward us for our labors.  God sees what man does not see.  He knows what factors impact our lives and drive us.  Secondly God is generous reiterating that rewards are 100 fold.  We do not need to worry about who is last and who is first.  We need to focus on our relationship with God, the giver of good gifts.

         As we sit today and ponder, let us ask ourselves where we are patting ourselves on the back.  What kind of results do we think we deserve?  God might see is it differently.  Next can we think of places where we might come in last.  Is that how you think God sees you?  Thank him for his mercy and patience and love.  Blessings.

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