I was reading this morning the parable of the Vineyard worker found in Matthew 20: 1-16. Jesus is telling the story of a man who owned a vineyard who needed workers. So he went to the marketplace to find workers. He hired them through out the day and promised them all a days wage. At the end of the day each worker received a days wage regardless of what time they started working.
As you can imagine, this did not go over well with those who had worked all day and made the same amount as the ones who had worked just a few hours. The Vineyard owner assures them all he had not been unfair. He had provided exactly what he promised them all. But the cry of the workers rang out “That’s Not Fair”.
I am looking around and I see a lot of people screaming “That’s not fair” Some who work hard everyday to provide for their families and still can’t make ends meet. Those who work less or perhaps not at all look around and say that isn’t fair that this group or that group has something I do not have. “That’s not fair.” And the fairness battle rages on.
We all want things to be fair, do we not? I want it to be fair that I work hard all day long, and at the end of the day I want the results that I deem fair for that amount of work. You see the thing with fair is, what is fair for me is not always fair for someone else.
Fair leads me to grace and mercy… How you ask? Because life is not fair nor will it ever be and I am glad. I am glad that God gives out gifts, like grace and mercy ,when to be fair I don’t deserve it. There is nothing good in me except Him. We can stand on the sidelines of grace and mercy and scream out for fairness. But it doesn’t work like that. There is nothing fair about life. And as long as you want it to be fair, you miss out on so many things.
I have seen marriages dissolve because it isn’t fair that one spouse gets to do this, or has this, or whatever you fill in the blank… I have seen people walk away from jobs, relationships, church and you name it because it wasn’t fair.
The story ends with two pretty powerful verses that I am wrestling with in my mind. Vs 15 ” Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others? 16 so those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
This kind of pierced my heart a little… Should I be jealous because God is kind to others? Should I be as generous with others as God is? Do I understand fully how the Kingdom works? Because it is not going to be fair. Those who are the least will be first… Jesus Christ was beaten, hung on a cross, murdered for doing nothing… talk about not fair. And what we face pales in comparison doesn’t it?
Maybe today as Christ followers we could stop yelling for fairness and start serving like Jesus. Just maybe if we did we would see His Kingdom come…lives transformed. Just maybe we would encounter the Master at the end of the day handing us grace and mercy with eyes filled with compassion and kindness. And just maybe it will not matter what He is handing to the person beside us….