Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.” (NIV)
My Dad was a hard-working engineer for most of his life and he provided for my mother and our large family as best as he could. Like most of his generation, he was a proud man and would rather do an honest day’s work for an honest wage than taking benefits from the Government. There were only two times that I remember him being unemployed when the manufacturing and steel plants that he worked for were closed. He personally struggled during those hard times, but he got up each day and went out early in the morning to go and look for work. I don’t know how he did it, but he managed to maintain our family through those lean times. I think he took any job he could find just to make sure we were all fed, clothed, and sheltered. To this day, he remains the greatest hero in my life.
Christ’s parable about the landowner and the workers in the vineyard used to seem unfair and unjust to me because I could picture my Dad toiling for a whole day and ending up with the same wages as the late comers. However, as the years have gone by, I realize that the parable is not about ownership, labor, or fairness – it’s all about the grace of God and how His mercy and love are available for everyone up until the last minute of life. I’ve tried to be a Christian for almost forty years, but I know that someone who just accepted Jesus as her or his Savior forty seconds ago will end up getting the same reward and eternal blessing. It’s how God works and this is why His grace is often called ‘amazing’.
Whoever you are or whatever you’ve done, please know this today: God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace are available for you right now. By personally accepting Jesus as Your Savior, you automatically become a child of grace and will be loved by Him forever.
Point to ponder
Am I looking to be forgiven, accepted, and loved? Am I willing to come to Christ to receive these blessings now?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely and yet, despite our mistakes, regrets, and failures, You are still willing to accept and embrace us, as well as redeeming and restoring us to God’s everlasting favor and love. Help us this day, to place our hearts and minds, spirits and lives into Your precious hands. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s new Good Friday drawings called ‘Christ Mask,’ which is based on an African mask. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Mask.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. The church’s website can be read at this link: www.erinpresbyterian.org.