Have you ever asked someone, “What’s in it for me?” Oftentimes, we approach God with this same question. That’s what Peter asked Jesus who answered with His parable, The Workers in the Vineyard (see Matthew 20:1-16).
Flanked by Peter and the rest of the disciples, Jesus had just encountered the rich, young ruler who was unwilling to sell his possessions and be generous to the poor (see Matthew 19:16-22). Jesus had told His disciples how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, but with God’s grace, all things were possible (see Matthew 19:23-26). Then Peter reacted: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (Matthew 19:27). Jesus responded with a story.
The Service is Varied (Matthew 20:1-7). Jesus began His parable likening the kingdom of heaven to a landowner of a vineyard who needed workers at harvest. He went out early to hire men to work, agreeing to pay the customary day’s wage of a denarius. They would work from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
A little before 9:00 a.m., the landowner hired more workers, agreeing to pay them “whatever is right” (Matthew 20:3-4). He did the same thing at about 12:00 p.m., again at 3:00 p.m., and yet again at 5:00 p.m. with only an hour remaining in the workday (see Matthew 20:5-7). Among the tired workers whose length of service had varied, a sense of urgency filled the air as a result of the bumper crop.
Do you find yourself comparing kingdom service among fellow believers, somehow ranking their impact? Stop comparing and begin to recognize that each person is unique. Consequently, every believer’s relationship with God will look slightly different in their style of kingdom service. Today, seek God and pray, “Help me see your restorative work in the lives of every person I meet.”