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

Thursday, September 16, 2021

[Jesus continued his parable about the Kingdom of Heaven being like workers hired at different times during the day:] "When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more [than the workers hired late in the day]. But they, too, were paid a day's wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 'Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.'"
— Matthew 20:10-12 NLT

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 were paid a full day's wage, the ones hired earlier were expecting a lot more than a full day's wage. Instead, they got the same amount for their work as the last ones 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 that they deserved more. But in matters of salvation, who can really deserve any reward at all? No one! We will be rewarded, but only because of the value Jesus places on us.

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 we have never understood grace.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, we can think of so many righteous and holy names which are used to describe you. But the main description that fascinates me is "the Son." I thank you for entering our world as the Son. I also thank you for saving me through him. In his name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 17:7-10
  • Colossians 3:5-10
  • Hebrews 1:1-2


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Illustration of Matthew 20:10-12 NLT — "When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more [than the workers hired late in the day]."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.