I have always been amazed by the parable of the vineyard workers from Matthew 20! I have to admit that I am conflicted. On one hand, I can totally see where the workers are coming from who were in the vineyard from the very beginning. I am not surprised to hear them assume that they would end up being paid more than the workers who were only helping out for a short time. Their perspective makes sense to me. On the other hand, I can totally see where the master of the vineyard is coming from. The first workers agreed to a price and they were not being ripped off. Do they have any right to be angry about the master’s generosity?!
Why are we so quick to point out when we feel we have been underpaid, but so slow to point out where we think we have been overpaid? I remember being overpaid once while in the nation of Turkey. I’m not sure what happened, but the cashier gave me back more money than she should have. I tried to explain to her that she gave me too much money, but she actually become upset with me. “Take the money!” she stubbornly proclaimed. Well, okay, then. As I remember it, I became about 5 cents richer that day. I probably would not have left quite as quickly if I were underpaid.
The reality is that Jesus is our Great Redeemer! He is redeeming us when we did not deserve it! The master gave these men work to do when they had no work to do. He was redeeming their time. Jesus is our Glorious Savior! He is saving us daily -treating us far better than we deserve. The master gave these men an honest days wage whether they worked for it or not. Jesus is the King Forever! He is generous to whomever He chooses to be generous to. Do we have any right to be angry about our master’s generosity?!
In Matthew 22 we find, what I believe, is one of the two most important statements that Jesus made while He walked the face of the earth.
…when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34–40, ESV)
What more needs to be said? Jesus, who is arguably the most important person in history, gave what is arguably one of the most important statements in history right here, in what is arguably one of the most important books in history.
Love God. Love people.
How do you love God well? Obey.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15, ESV)
How do you love people well? Share with them what is most precious and important to you.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19–20, ESV)