In speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus likened it to the owner of a vineyard who went out in the morning to hire workers for the day.

In the early morning hours the master hired workers and agreed to pay them one denarius for the day. So, they went out and worked in the master’s vineyard. Three hours later the master went to the marketplace and while there he saw men standing around that needed work. He told them that he would pay them the right price if they would like to work in his vineyard. So, they left the marketplace to work in the vineyards of the master.

Again, three hours later the master went to the marketplace and found more men that needed work and he gave them work. Three hours after that he hired more workers and then three hours after that he hired more. All of the workers whether they had been hired in the sixth our or eleventh hour or later, were all offered 1 denarius for their work.

When the day ended and the landowner brought them together to pay them, he paid them all one denarius as that was the agreement. The men that came earlier in the day began to complain, for they had carried the majority of the work that day.

But the master answered a man that spoke up, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man that was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to what I want to with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

The last will be first, and the first will be last.

Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition. Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Th.D., Ph.D., editor. Chicago: Moody Press 1994.

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