December 29, 2020 - What we have before us is the parable in the Gospel of Matthew about laborers in the vineyard. As usual, I would suggest reading the passage yourself and then come back to this article. I will try my best to summarize Matthew 20:1-16.
Jesus paints a picture of an owner of a vineyard hiring laborers. He does not hire all the laborers at once, but we read that throughout the workday more workers are added to help with the task at hand. The end of the day comes, and the workers go to receive their payment. To their surprise, those who have been working since the beginning of the day were paid the same amount as those who came later. The master reminds the workers that they got what they agreed to. He tells them to take what belongs to them and go. We see in verse 15 two rhetorical questions as well as a reminder of the sovereignty of the master. The verse reads, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”
What are we to make of this passage? I would suggest that the passage is about God’s generosity. We, that is the whole church, are the laborers. We are not all called at the same time to be His workers nor do we all work the same way. Some of us were born and raised in the church and some of us are brand new to the common faith that we confess together. We all receive the same grace, the same mercy, the same sacrifice. We all receive the same Christ.
While this might be an easy concept to understand for us, it actually is one of the more scandalous parts of the Gospel. It is natural for us to say that those who have done more should receive more, but what we read in the text today could very well cause us to think that the master of the house, God, is being unfair. The Christian response should be one of affirming that truth with a heart filled with joy. Praise God that he does not treat us fairly but gives us more than what we deserve. That includes atonement found in Christ. By the power of Christ, you are forgiven.
Pastor’s Corner is a column from Pastor Wynter Sturtevant III of the Mariposa Reformed Baptist Church.
The Church has moved locations, services are now held at the Bootjack Stompers Hall (located at 4662 Morman Bar Crossing) across from the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
Time of service is at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday.
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