My Daily Journal:
It is often helpful to put ourselves into the biblical story. By immersing ourselves into character, we not only get a deeper sense of the message but we are better able to see how we should apply the truth and change our daily walk.
In the story of the land owner and workers found in Matthew 20, our first inclination is to put ourselves in the position of the worker and Jesus as the land owner.
But, let’s take a different view point. What if you take on the character of the landowner. This isn’t a stretch. Romans 8 says we are heirs with Christ. Jesus himself refers to his followers as stewards. What if we are the stewards of this land? What is the message to us?
I see several:
1. Be relentless in calling others into the harvest. Jesus said the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. How much of that is because we aren’t repeatedly showing up to find people waiting to be called?
2. Give each worker a full measure of God’s word and grace. Some of the workers were doing a lot of different things with their life before they were convicted to show up at the street corner. How often do we tend to hold that against them? The landowner gave the first workers a full measure. He did not give the later workers any less.
3. Don’t negotiate. The bible says what the bible says. How often are we tempted to water it down to fit the views and opinions of others. We fall into a trap of the world’s view of “fair”. God is just and He doesn’t hold back His grace.
4. Expect persecution but watch for the joy. What did the landowner hear about when he passed out the wages? Did he hear the joy of those called late in the day? Maybe a little, but it was mostly drowned out by the grumbles of those called early. It is easy to focus on the grumbling, the persecutions in life, so much so that we sometimes miss the joy.
Eternal life is the denarius – but it isn’t earned nor is more earned by longer work or greater deeds
He calls the workers. He has the work and the pay. He provides grace and love and complete reward
They have an entitlement attitude. They judge themselves based on other men (not a sign of humility) and find themselves more deserving then are upset at rewards given to those who have worked less
At any point I am called to work it is a blessing – Thankful for the reward I am given, not jealous or self-righteous, but be humble
That He would work so hard to call us to work – He doesn’t need us, we need Him, but He pursues us over and over again.