When God chooses to work his plan, while we rarely understand it. History has shown that we need not question it. Both in the history of the church and in our personal lives, God has shown that he will receive us as we are–when it is his time and in whatever condition he finds us. The parable of the landowner looks at the workers from both God and man’s perspective. God takes and uses those into the kingdom from the beginning to the end. He also blesses each as he sees fit, not as we think it should be.
We all are guilty of judging God’s distribution of grace and blessing to folks at different points of our journey. We question the lack of struggle in some Christian lives and the extensive trials in others. We wonder why God treats folk in the kingdom differently. Truth is, God owes none of us an explanation of why he does what he does. Like the vineyard owner, he can be generous or not as he sees fit. He can heal or chose not to as he sees fit. He blesses whom he chooses to bless and withholds blessings when that is his desire. We need simply to be grateful for salvation and hopeful for eternal life—this journey simply is the path home, it is not home itself. Paul said it best, “Rejoice with those who are rejoicing and mourn with those who mourn!”
God Bless You
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’7 ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”