Matthew 20:1-16

That’s Not Fair!”

Any parent with a child old enough to talk will at some point hear those words. Honestly, adults say it too. 

We want what we believe we deserve or are owed. We want life to be fair and even, but who gets to define the word ‘fair’? Us? That’s not fair! God is the creator of this universe and what he says is fair is the standard. 

Jesus tells a story about our idea of fair versus his idea. The workers in Matthew 20:1-16 have worked hard all day long and are upset when the owner pays the new hire as much as them. They are resentful of the good thing the owner has done for the new guy. In this story, the vineyard represents God’s Kingdom and God is the landowner.

Are we ever resentful of the good things God has done in other believers’ lives? Might we say things like “I’ve been a believer longer, where’s my reward?” It’s the same as saying, “That’s not fair!”

Often what we believe we’ve earned or deserved stems from an inflated view of ourselves. It’s pride. The reality is, we’re dust and God is good enough to let us be workers in his Kingdom or his vineyard.

Whether we’ve worked in the Kingdom since we were 8 or 78, we will all receive the same payment–Heaven. Thank God that’s not ‘fair’! 

We serve a generous God who owes us nothing yet gives us everything. He hires us in his Kingdom, makes room for all workers who are ready to be hired and doesn’t do so for his sake, but for ours. His generosity flows to the newest and oldest believers.

In our pursuit of what’s fair, we somehow find something better–a God who pours out grace and mercy in copious amounts.

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