What Jesus Did! 'Not Enough?' — Matthew 20:10-12

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Then those workers that were hired first came to get their pay. Those workers thought they would be paid more than the other workers. But each one of those workers also received one silver coin. When they got their silver coin, these workers complained to the man that owned the land. The workers said, 'Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as us. And we worked hard all day in the hot sun.'"
— Matthew 20:10-12
Illustration of Matthew 20:10-12 — "Then those workers that were hired first came to get their pay."

Key Thought

Unlike the workers hired late in the day, those who came at the beginning of the day had worked hard over long hours and in the brutal heat. When the last workers are paid a full day's wage, I'm sure they were probably expecting a lot more than a full day's wage. Instead, they got the same amount for their work as the last guys who hadn't worked as long. But they got what they had bargained to receive. They were paid the going rate and a fair wage for that day. So why were they angry? Because they wanted more and felt as if they deserved it. But in matters of salvation, who can really deserve it? Only Jesus!
The test for us is what kind of people will we be? Will we picture ourselves as those who are blessed undeservingly? Or will we want to show Jesus our spiritual resume? If we end up resenting the grace God gives to others, let me assert that grace has never been understood.

Today's Prayer

Holy God and Father, we can think of so many righteous and holy names which are used to describe you. But mainly the description that I am fascinated with is "The Son." I thank you for entering our world as the Son. I also thank you for saving me through him. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"The kingdom of heaven is like a man that owned some land. The man grew grapes on his land. One morning, the man went out very early to hire some other people to work in his field. The man agreed to pay the workers one silver coin for working that day. Then the man sent the people into the field to work. "At about nine o'clock the man went to the market place and saw some other people standing there. These people were doing nothing. So the man said to them, 'If you go and work in my field, I will pay you what your work is worth.' So the people went to work in the field. "The man went out again about twelve o'clock and again at three o'clock. Both times the man hired some other people to work in his field. At about five o'clock the man went to the market place again. He saw some other people standing there. The man asked them, 'Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?' "The people said, 'No person gave us a job.' "The man said to them, 'Then you can go and work in my field.' "At the end of the day, the owner of the field said to the boss of all the workers, 'Call the workers and pay all of them. Start by paying the last people I hired. Then pay all of them, ending with the workers I hired first.' "The workers that were hired at five o'clock came to get their pay. Each worker got one silver coin. Then those workers that were hired first came to get their pay. Those workers thought they would be paid more than the other workers. But each one of those workers also received one silver coin. When they got their silver coin, these workers complained to the man that owned the land. The workers said, 'Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as us. And we worked hard all day in the hot sun.' "But the man that owned the field said to one of those workers, 'Friend, I am being fair with you. You agreed to work for one silver coin. Right? So take your pay and go. I want to give the man that was hired last the same pay that I gave you.I can do what I want with my own money. Are you jealous because I am good {to those people}?' "So the people that have the last place now will have the first place in the future. And the people that have the first place now will have the last place in the future."

Matthew 20:1-16

Related Scripture Readings

"Suppose one of you has a servant that has been working in the field. The servant has been plowing the ground or caring for the sheep. When he comes in from work, what would you say to him? Would you say, 'Come in and sit down to eat'? No! You would say to your servant, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Then get dressed and serve me. When I finish eating and drinking, then you can eat.' The servant should not get any special thanks for doing his job. He is only doing what his master told him to do. It is the same with you. When you do all the things you are told to do, you should say, 'We are not worthy of any special thanks. We have only done the work we should do.'"

Luke 17:7-10

So put all evil things out of your life: sexual sinning, doing evil, letting evil thoughts control you, wanting things that are evil, and selfishly wanting more and more. This wanting really means to live serving a false god. These things make God angry. In your evil life in the past, you also did these things. But now put these things out of your life: anger, being very mad, doing or saying things to hurt other people, and using evil words when you talk. Don't lie to each other. Why? Because you have left your old sinful life and the things you did before. You have begun to live the new life. In your new life you are being made new. You are becoming like the One who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God.

Colossians 3:5-10

In the past God spoke to our people through the prophets. God spoke to them many times and in many different ways. And now in these last days God has spoken to us again. God has spoken to us through his Son. God made the whole world through his Son. And God has chosen his Son to have all things.

Hebrews 1:1-2

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.