How old are you? I’m 43. There was never a time when I didn’t believe in God, but I didn’t get baptized (of my own accord) and really start reading my Bible until my early twenties. Let’s see how that relates to Jesus’s parable today.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, ‘You too go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into the vineyard.’ And when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius. And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of day.’ But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ Thus the last shall be first, and the first last.”
This parable can be read as the Jews being the first workers and non Jews being the latecomers, but it can also apply to people who follow God from early in their lives versus people who get saved when they’re old. Why should they get into the kingdom just like me, when I served God for almost my whole life? Why? Because God is generous. With me and with them. And thank the Lord for that, because I have a lot of people I’m praying for, and they’re not all teenagers. Who am I to decide when God calls someone?
So for you this passage is either a reminder to be thankful for God’s generosity to others no matter how much time they “stood idle in the marketplace,” or to rejoice because YOU were the one standing idle for so long. It’s never too late to inherit the kingdom. Praise the Lord!
What is the kingdom statement you’ll use to replace your worry thoughts today?
*New American Standard Bible verses used in the paperback version of this devotional with permission from The Lockman Foundation.