This parable about the vineyard seems to bug me. So early in the day this man goes out and hires a bunch of people. They start working and keep working all day. As the day goes on, he goes out and hires more and more people. As the day goes on he continues hiring people until, an hour before finishing time he hires the last group of people. So then at the end of the day he pays the workers their wages… starting with the last first. So now he’s paying the last, those that have only worked an hour, not only the same as those who have worked all day long, but also he pays them all the same. Those who have worked all day long are kind of ticked off, they have families and lives that they need to get home to. They are tired from working so hard, and these other guys not only get paid as much as they do, they have to wait to get paid until these others do. I mean come on! Give these guys a break! But the owner doesn’t. He responds to their frustration by saying, “This is what we agreed to, so why are you so upset about how I paid these others?”‘
I’m pretty sure that i understand the meaning behind the parable. The workers are people. Some have been serving God all their lives, others reject Him until not long before they die. Yet they both get paid the same. Why? Because God wants to do it that way. Being one that has served Him since i was young, i struggle with this one quite a bit. I think that part of it is a pride thing, and part of it is an envy thing, and part of it is a blind thing. I feel like I DESERVE more because I have worked SO HARD for SO LONG (pride). I feel like as i see others doing the wrong things (what they want) for so long, yet they seem to have all that they want / need, and they will get the same payment at the end it just doesn’t seem fair (envy). It’s also a blind thing. I don’t know what i’ve been missing out on. I can’t see 5 dimensionally. I can’t see what could have happened if i had made a different choice, but i wonder.
In the parable, the owner of the vineyard says, “Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’” I have to be careful of how i react to these kinds of things. Matthew 18:8-9 says, “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” I have to be careful. If my envious eye is not brought under conviction and dealt with (removed), it can lead to my own downfall.
There is so much more to this topic that i don’t have time to go into, but i did want to touch on one more thing in this chapter. At the end of the chapter, there are two blind men sitting. They heard that Jesus was passing by and they cried out for mercy! What had they done wrong to deserve blindness that they needed mercy for? Christ asked them what they wanted Him to do (significant). He had compassion and healed them. When we are physically blind, or blinded by by pride and envy. Only one can have mercy on us and bring healing to our eyes. He is the one we serve, and who has served us.
Rev. John J. Camiolo