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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"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?'"
— Matthew 20:13
Illustration of Matthew 20:13 — "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?'"

Key Thought

Sometimes, I fear, we forget who God is. We forget he is the vineyard owner. He doesn't manage it; he made it. He doesn't supervise it; he created it. God is God. We should serve because he is God. He has no reason to be gracious to us other than he loves us and is gracious. But we have no reason to expect, much less demand, for him to be gracious except that he promised to be gracious. If we were to receive what we deserved, we would be left out and ignored at best and humiliated and condemned by normal expectations. 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 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 is and was 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.

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

And through Christ, God was happy to bring all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace by using Christ's blood (death) on the cross. At one time you were separated from God. You were God's enemies in your minds, because the evil things you did were against God. But now Christ has made you God's friends again. Christ did this by his death while he was in his body. Christ did this so that he could bring you before God. He brings you before God as people who are holy, with no wrong in you, and with nothing that God can judge you guilty of. Christ will do this if you continue to believe in the Good News you heard. You must continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the hope that Good News gave you. That same Good News has been told to all people in the world. I, Paul, help in telling that Good News.

Colossians 1:20-23

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord because he trusted me and gave me this work of serving him. He gives me strength. In the past I spoke against Christ and persecuted him and did things to hurt him. But God gave me mercy because I did not know what I was doing. I did those things when I did not believe. But the grace (kindness) of our Lord was fully given to me. And with that grace came the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. What I say is true, and you should fully accept it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst of those sinners. But I was given mercy. I was given mercy so that in me Christ Jesus could show that he has patience without limit. Christ showed his patience with me, the worst of all sinners. Christ wanted me to be an example for those people who would believe in him and have life forever. Honor and glory to the King that rules forever. He cannot be destroyed and cannot be seen. Honor and glory forever and ever to the only God. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Then I heard something that sounded like many, many people. It sounded like the noise of flooding water and like loud thunder. The people were saying: "Hallelujah (Praise God)! Our Lord God rules. He is the All-Powerful. Let us rejoice and be happy and give God glory! Give God glory, because the wedding of the Lamb (Jesus) has come. And the Lamb's bride (the church) has made herself ready.

Revelation 19:6-7


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.