Are you going to get stingy because I am generous? (20:15, Message)
In these latter chapters of Matthew, the Pharisees keep goading Jesus. At the same time, the disciples display an unseemly jostling for position within the Kingdom.
Jesus drops a pointed parable into the mix. A farmer hired workers throughout the day, at dawn, nine, noon, three and five. To each group he offered the same wage: a dollar for their work the day.
Perhaps group number one thought they misunderstood. Perhaps Jesus offered a dollar an hour. That was only fair. Wasn’t it? As fair a manager as the farmer wouldn’t pay the first group the same as the last. Would he?
The farmer, management negotiator that he was, said “You agreed to work for a dollar for the day. Why are you complaining?”
For everyone who has hoped for a government of and by the people, where everyone is equal—that’s the kingdom Jesus represents.
We all enter the kingdom by the same method. We are adopted, names added to the book of life, Jesus’s blood the ink used.
We all receive the same inheritance—eternal life.
We all are sealed to the family with the same seal—the Holy Spirit stamped on our hearts.
We all pay the same “tax” upon coming to age, in front of Jesus’s throne—we will throw our crowns or anything we have taken pride in, at his feet.
God doesn’t want His generosity to make us stingy.
He wants to extend the grace to everyone we meet—whether or not they are worthy.