11 Mar The Reward is the Same – 3/11/21
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon, he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
The workers were told they were to work for a denarius. And they agreed. Everyone gets the exact same reward: eternal life with Jesus. This includes those who come to Him first and those who come to Him at the last second. The reward remains the same. Did the workers who came earlier think that if they worked harder, they would receive a greater reward? There is no reward greater than Jesus and we receive Him by grace through faith, not by works. There is no competition to get into the kingdom of heaven. We must love our brothers and sisters by wanting Christ for them, and not getting upset when they receive the same reward with less work. We must focus on what really matters: increasing the Kingdom of God together. If you have been here for a while, encourage the new ones with a heart of gratitude. And if you’re the new one, know that our reward is the same: the wonderful inheritance that our Father bestows upon us. And no person can take that away from you.
Thank you, Jesus, for being so generous to all. You show no partiality among your people. You show the same amount of mercy, grace and glory to everyone in you. Our works can’t earn us salvation, so it can’t take it away either, and we don’t know how to thank you enough to match the goodness you have granted us. You deserve all of the honor and all the glory. We ask for your Holy Spirit to lead us to be grateful for what you have given us, and to love all our brothers and sisters with genuine care for the rest of our lives. Amen.