“Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?”
Matthew 20:15 (NRSV)
I feel sorry for those labourers who had worked hard all day. They must have got up quite early to be at work by 9 a.m. I’m sure I would feel rather peeved if I found that those who had worked only one hour got the same pay as I did. The first thing I would have said to the landowner is, “You’re not fair!” But being fair to him, if he hadn’t gone down to the job centre and selected his workforce then none of them would have had any work. They would all have gone home penniless.
It’s one of Jesus’ parables and people generally see the landowner as representing God. So is God not fair? Let’s look at it on a spiritual level: at one time we weren’t even in the job centre, we were just unemployed. Our lives were spent enjoying ourselves, or so we thought, doing things our way in society amid all its attractions. But Jesus came and selected some of us to work in his church. If he hadn’t, we would have ended our lives just as we had begun them – dead in our sins.
Because Christians are in Christ’s workforce and are given many blessings – liberation from the great oppressor Satan, forgiveness of our sins and the promise of eternal life. Are we angry because some have been in the church all their lives and others were converted much later on? I don’t think so. Remember the thief on the cross. He received his rewards, all his gifts, in his dying breath.
Actually, with churches apparently closing and congregations fading away, we should be very grateful that God is calling people of mature years into his workforce. And at the other end, many young people learning about God and Christ as they grow up, will form the next generations of the Christian family.
Whoever we are, or whenever we came into the church, Christians have so much spiritually to be thankful for. Let’s give God the glory and pray for Him to call more people to join his workforce.
Thank you, dear God, for my calling. Help me to appreciate all your gifts, and may you add many more labourers into your workforce. In Jesus’ name.
Study by Christopher Reeve
About the Author:
Chris Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK, where his wife, Hilary accompanies him.
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CANTERBURY CT2 9JA
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Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326