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Summary: 10th of 10 Jesus Stories Series: It’s important to remember that God is in charge – not us. It’s also important to us all that he is a God of mercy and forgiveness. Salvation can be had by anyone who comes to him – even at the last hour. It’s never too

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Working for Wages

It’s important to remember that God is in charge – not us. It’s also important to us all that he is a God of mercy and forgiveness. Salvation can be had by anyone who comes to him – even at the last hour. It’s never too early and it’s never too late to get right with God.

Matt. 20:1–16

A Story About Workers

20 “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who owned some land. One morning, he went out very early to hire some people to work in his vineyard. 2 The man agreed to pay the workers one coin a for working that day. Then he sent them into the vineyard to work. 3 About nine o’clock the man went to the marketplace and saw some other people standing there, doing nothing. 4 So he said to them, ‘If you go and work in my vineyard, I will pay you what your work is worth.’ 5 So they went to work in the vineyard. The man went out again about twelve o’clock and three o’clock and did the same thing. 6 About five o’clock the man went to the marketplace again and saw others standing there. He asked them, ‘Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?’ 7 They answered, ‘No one gave us a job.’ The man said to them, ‘Then you can go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “At the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said to the boss of all the workers, ‘Call the workers and pay them. Start with the last people I hired and end with those I hired first.’

9 “When the workers who were hired at five o’clock came to get their pay, each received one coin. 10 When the workers who were hired first came to get their pay, they thought they would be paid more than the others. But each one of them also received one coin. 11 When they got their coin, they complained to the man who owned the land. 12 They said, ‘Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as you paid us who worked hard all day in the hot sun.’ 13 But the man who owned the vineyard said to one of those workers, ‘Friend, I am being fair to you. You agreed to work for one coin. 14 So take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same pay that I gave you. 15 I can do what I want with my own money. Are you jealous because I am good to those people?’

16 “So those who have the last place now will have the first place in the future, and those who have the first place now will have the last place in the future.”

Some people have grown up in church

When I was a kid I received an award pin for perfect attendance at Sunday School.

It was part of a program called "Cross and Crown". I don’t remember a lot about it, but I know that you got a 3 month perfect attendance pin first. That was followed by a 6 month pin, then a 9 month pin, and finally a 1 year pin.

The second year of perfect attendance you received a wreath that wrapped around the 1 year pin. The third year you got a bar that attached to the wreath and hung beneath the pin. The fourth year and every succeeding year you got another bar that attached to the one previously awarded.

Today, squirreled away somewhere in a box of things from my youth there is my pin with wreath and bars hanging beneath it. The last bar in the chain is marked "twelve years" for my 1.2 decades of perfect attendance at Sunday School. Yes, I grew up a preachers kid and a goody-two-shoes.


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