Matthew 20:12-16, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
In my Gospel reading this morning, as with just about every morning, there was so much to ponder. In Matthew 20:1-15, which we refer to as “The Parable of the Laborers,” there were four important thoughts to meditate upon:
- Far too often, God’s potential laborers (including me) are “standing idle” when we ought to be working [20:3, 6].
- Unfortunately, we often make excuses why we aren’t “laboring” [20;7]
- Far too often, if we aren’t careful, we allow petty jealousy creep into our hearts because God has blessed other laborers in a way that seems to us to be unfair [20:10-13].
- God has the right to do as He chooses, when He chooses, the way he chooses, and he doesn’t have to seek our approval [20:15]!
It is interesting that just a few verses later Jesus has to deal with his disciples about the matter of servanthood [20:20-28]. Like us, they just didn’t seem to get it!
In the very next chapter, we find the Pharisees becoming “displeased” because Jesus has healed some blind and lame people, and he is receiving praise from the children [21:14-15]. One sure sign of a pharisaical spirit is when we become “displeased,” cynical, jealous, and/or critical when GOD things happen in other’s ministry, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS THE RESULT OF THEM DOING IT DIFFERENTLY THAN WE DEEM TO BE APPROPRIATE!
May God give us all a spirit of humility, submission, and servanthood, guard our hearts from a pharisaical and jealous spirit, as well as a give us sense of urgency for the work!
Just reflecting on a few ungrateful laborers!