Bible Society of South Africa

The generous employer – 3 March 2022

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

14Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I have given you. 15Don't I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’ ”

Matthew 20:14-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

This parable is often called “The workers in the vineyard,” but the central character is really the eccentric landowner. The landlord needs workers to maintain his vineyard. Some hardy souls are standing on the street corner ready for work at daybreak. Others start work a while later. Some, however, loiter all day and put in only one hour of work at the end. How does their boss respond? He gives all the workers the same pay!

This surprise gives us a window into the kingdom of God. God’s generous grace flows as freely to those who bow to Christ on their deathbed as to believers who have given a lifetime of service to Christ.

But the landowner’s most industrious workers grumble and complain. And, surprisingly, he gently reprimands them, reminding them that though they have endured the burden of the work and the heat of the day, he has paid them exactly what they agreed at the start of the day.

God is so concerned with producing generous and compassionate people that he rewards those who don’t put in a full life’s work. And he expects the rest of us to be happy about it.
This story gives us a mirror in which we must examine the areas of our life that fail to reflect God’s character.

Often we compare ourselves with others and are convinced we deserve more. But God’s generosity transcends human ideas of fairness. Divine generosity gives to all, expecting nothing in return.

Prayer: Gracious God, kind Saviour, make us gracious and kind like you. Remove stinginess and faulty comparisons from our eyes. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.9
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