BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 20
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
I know this is a longer passage of scripture than we normally use for a devotional but you have to get this complete story to understand a short thought. I will be honest; the whole thing does not sound fair to me either in the story. Yes, these men agreed to work all day for a penny, and yes, it is true that other men didn’t show up till later in the day and they got paid the same wage as those that had worked all day long. I would not like it either and I do not think it is fair. But the owner had all the right in the world to do what he did. The men did agree to the terms and they were obligated to stick to it. The whole point of the passage is verse 15. The owner here says, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own”? Everyone seems to want to pass judgment on what they think God should or should not do. As if we have any right to say anything about it. We do not own one thing. God created the universe and he created us. If anybody has the right to do whatever he wants, God does. Each of us need to remember today who we are, and who we are not. We are not the owner, and we really have no right to say anything about what the owner does. Let’s just be grateful that we get anything!