Jesus told a story about a landowner who went out early in the morning and hired workers for his vineyard. He promised them a generous wage and sent them to work. He went out again at 9am, noon, 3pm and even 5pm. Each time, he found workers who had not been hired and he sent them to his vineyard.
At the end of the day, he paid each worker the same wage. Those who started at 5pm received the same pay as those who started early in the morning. That’s not fair! Sure enough, those who had been working since dawn began to grumble. (Matthew 20:1-16)
The landowner in the story represents God and we learn something about his character. Not only is he generous, he is increasingly generous. He didn’t hire the 11th hour workers because he needed that extra push at the end of the workday. He hired them because of their need.
It isn’t fair; it is scandalous grace!
God doesn’t respond to us based on our performance and how well or how long we work in his kingdom. He responds out of love according to his grace.
The kingdom of God is unfair because of God’s increasing generosity. And yet, in some ways it is the fairest system imaginable because:
There is a place for you in God’s kingdom. Grace throws the door wide open.
This is the 5th and final part in a series
click here to read part 4 – Grace for the Lowest of the Low
click here to read part 3 – Grace in the Law
click here to read part 2 – Grace in Creation
click here to read part 1 – Scandalous Grace