“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. I agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning, he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been 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 five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. Those who were hired last worked only 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 one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one 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)
The scriptures depict a lesson of the landowner that had the right to pay people as he desired, whether workers came first or last. We also know that the true lesson is that through Jesus Christ, those who come to know Jesus and serve him are not better, closer, or have more rewards based on when they came to know Jesus. The gift of everlasting life and a relationship with Jesus is the greatest and most profound gift of life, regardless of whether one comes to know Him at an early age or on one’s deathbed. Thus, in terms of salvation, this gift from the Lord is provided to all and in an equal manner regardless of when one has come to know Him or how long one has served Him.
These scriptures compel me to think of the inequities of life as some are better off than others financially, some have healthy lives and others are challenged with medical issues, some are born into wonderful families and others have to deal with physical and mental abuse, some have great opportunities presented to them and others can’t seem to catch a break. Yet, one thing remains true and equal, the opportunity to know Jesus Christ as one’s Savior. A relationship with the Savior and His faithfulness is equal to all for the receiving as we call upon His name. His generosity like the landowner may not always be a distribution that we can understand or a matter of financial gain in position or possessions; but His blessings in hope, peace, and love are abundant and equally available to all. Thus, all things being equal is a truth that we can hold onto in Christ Jesus.
Furthermore, knowing this should enable one not to compare or covet, but to be grateful and blessed for what we are blessed with, knowing that God’s plan for our lives includes the answers if we are willing to follow, be obedient, and wait upon Him.
Dear Lord, I am grateful for the life you’ve blessed me with ... ALL things included and ALL in. I realize that I’ve received the greatest gift of all and that my rewards are my relationship with you and your faithfulness. I also am affirmed in the fact that you have a plan for my life, a plan that I am called to be observant and obedient to, not comparing or coveting, not judging or envious, but grateful and giving. In life, all things may not seem to be equal, but in Christ, ALL things are equal and abundant.