What Jesus Did! 'More than Fair' — Matthew 20:13

Friday, September 17, 2021

[Jesus continued his parable about the Kingdom of Heaven being like workers hired at different times during the day:]
[After the workers who worked all day complained about not being paid more than those hired near the end of the day, the landowner] "answered one of them, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage?"
— Matthew 20:13 NLT

Key Thought

Sometimes, I fear, we forget who God is. We forget he is the vineyard owner, and the vineyard in the parable is the world with us in it as workers. Not only does God own the vineyard; he made it — he created it. God is God. We should serve him because he is God. He has no reason to be gracious to us other than he loves us and it is his nature to be gracious. We have no reason to expect, much less demand, for him to be gracious, but he promised to be gracious.

If we were to receive what we deserved, we would be left out and ignored at best or humiliated and condemned. But God does not treat us as we deserve. He extends to us the grace to do something worthwhile with our lives. He provides the atonement for our sins. He voluntarily promises us eternal life with him. So how can we whine or quarrel when he has given us much more than is fair?

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous God, Creator and Sustainer of all that was and is and ever will be, I praise you for your grace and mercy. I praise you for your holiness and might. I praise you for your plan of redemption in Jesus Christ. I praise you because you are God and worthy of all praise. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, I long to praise you forever and ever. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 1:20-23
  • 1 Timothy 1:12-17
  • Revelation 19:6-7


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Illustration of Matthew 20:13 NLT — "answered one of them, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage?"

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.