Summary: Grace is outrageous. It’s hard to accept, It’s hard to believe, and It’s hard to receive.
Imagine yourself in this story. You show up bright and early, dressed for work, lunch pail in hand. You're thrilled when the owner comes by in his flatbed pickup and hires you. He promises a generous wage, the wage of a soldier, more than you are used to getting paid. You already start thinking about the bills you can pay and meals you can provide and clothes you can buy with that.
The first hour flies. The day is still cool. Even when the sun comes up—and what a great day this is going to be—And the community! You feel an instant connection with the other workers with whom you rode in from town. But you're glad to see, a few hours later, a fresh batch of workers join, though they don't quite know how to do the job as quickly or efficiently. But they're quick to learn, and it's not long before it's like they've always been here too, from the beginning.
A few hours later when more workers show up, it feels different. You feel relief— there's so much work to do. But you also feel a touch of, hmmm, resentment. They don't do the work right. They don't understand the culture here. They
haven’t got into the groove. And you're hot and sore and tired, and they're chirping away, no dirt under their fingernails, not even one bead of sweat on their brows.
But what kills you is the crew who shows up 11 hours into the shift. The day's already cooling again. The heavy lifting's been done. They work a single hour, if you could call it work; you could do by yourself single-handedly in 10 minutes what three of them barely accomplished in the full hour. But then an amazing thing happens.
It is pay time. The foreman calls up the guys who just showed up last to collect their pay first. A denarius: a full day's wages. You start doing the math. A denarius per hour times 12 hours equals—ooh. You're about to call the wife on the cell, tell her to get onto Google and book that holiday in Paris, and go onto Amazon and order new luggage while she's at it, when you notice a disturbing trend. The guys who showed up 3 hours ago get a denarius. And the guys who showed up 6 hours ago get a denarius. When the foreman finally calls you up—last, though you were here first—and he puts in your hand a denarius, you can barely hold yourself back from spitting on it.
Verse 15-Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
Why this story seems unfair, is because we all want God’s grace but we are not sure we want it for others….The ones who have done us wrong or our family wrong!
But grace isn't just about us, whether we showed up late in life or early in life to serve the Lord, whether we work a lot or work a little for the Lord.
Grace is about, just like in this story, of who’s in charge, who has the last word!
Just like in the story the landowner was good, God is good and God is good to us whether we desire it or not, or whether we earned it or not!
The owner could have avoided the conflict, by paying the first one first, letting them leave and so on down the line, but the point of the story is:
Grace is outrageous. It’s hard to accept, It’s hard to believe, and It’s hard to receive.
What grace offers shocks us, there is nothing like it in this world!
We might extend grace to people who are not-so- bad or to people who are like ourselves, but to the scum of the earth, that’s crazy!
Grace is a gift that costs everything to the giver and nothing to the receiver.
Verse 12-saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’
I have known church members who believe they deserve special treatment because of how long they have been a member, or how much they give, what they have donated but the truth is!
Grace makes us equal to everyone else.
A story is told of the lady who had a stranger appear at her door and simply handed her a $100 bill. She was dumbfounded! Then the same thing happened the next day. and the next and the next. For thirty straight days this stranger gave her $100 without explanation. On the 31st day the lady was waiting at the door when she saw the man coming down the street. But then he passed her house and walked up to her neighbor's house, and gave her a $100 bill! The first lady was indignant and yelled at the guy, "Hey, where's my $100 bill?"