I get it and I am willing to bet you get it too! Today I was hired at 7:30 am to go to work in the fields harvesting strawberries. I was told my wage would be $60.00 based on $7.50 an hour for eight hours. Even with my broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves it was hot harvesting the berries. Thank the Lord for the refreshing breeze!
At 10:00 am while I was enjoying a coffee break, another group of workers came to harvest some berries. In conversation, I learned that they would be paid $60.00 for the day’s work. It seemed unfair that they should receive the same amount I would for working fewer hours.
Then at lunch here comes another group of harvesters. They are really excited to work and were happy to learn they would make $60.00 for working from noon until 4:30 P.M. I was considerably disturbed in addition to being hot and tired with my back aching.
Finally, I took a bathroom break at 4 p.m. I could not believe it, more workers were coming through the gate … grabbing their baskets ready to harvest strawberries. They had barely filled up one basket when the whistle blew summoning us to quit and to go by the cashier’s office. After turning in their baskets of berries and collecting their pay of $120.00 for having worked 30 minutes, Raoul and Maria were dancing under the oak tree. My feet were tired, my back ached, and I was angry. It is not fair! They got the same wage I received, and they only worked 30 minutes. I had worked eight hours, but I had agreed on that pay for a day’s work. If I had known the boss was that generous, I would have negotiated for a higher wage at 7:30 a.m. The chances of encountering this scenario in real life are slim to none.
But then Jesus is teaching a lesson you will rarely find in the business world.
Jesus said that God is generous like the farmer.
The farmer paid the workers in the vineyard like the boss paid the strawberry harvesters that were hired at different times during the day, but who all received the same pay.
O God, we praise and thank You for Your generosity. You shower us with many blessings. You generously forgive us of our many and repeated sins. Thank You for this lesson which teaches us that things are often different in Your economy. In the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, we pray. Amen.