Today’s Bible Reading
“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you resentful because I’m generous?’ So those who are last will be first. And those who are first will be last.” – Matthew 20:15-16
More thoughts for meditation
Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven, or really the King of Heaven, is like a vineyard owner who hires help throughout the day and compensates them equally regardless of the amount they worked for. This might seem like it cheats the workers who labored all day, but they’ve agreed to the amount to begin with, so it is not exploitative. Rather, it is generous. The vineyard owner collects the ire of those workers, however, and he assertively replies that it is his right to be generous with what belongs to him.
Jesus is saying that the generosity in the Kingdom of God works the same way. Our salvation and our liberation is not tied to our work. We don’t get more of it because we toiled for longer. That’s because it isn’t our work that causes us to earn our salvation here. Good work may follow salvation, but it isn’t why we have it.
This important to understand because it is easy for us to development resentment against people that we don’t think are doing their fair share of the work. Or to believe that our work has indeed earned us favor with God.
Suggestions for action
In the parable, the vineyard owner goes out to the market and finds people and invites them into working the land. God invites us into the work of the Kingdom and assures us that salvation follows. Try to keep separating the gift of salvation from the work of the Kingdom. This is no easy task, which is why Jesus spoke so much about it. Today, ask God to free you from judging others you deem less worthy of salvation. Pray that you are freed from the burden that your work is what saves you, pray that you can keep receiving the gift of salvation.