Parable of the Laborers

In Matthew 20, Jesus tells a parable to those around him. Peter and the rest of the disciples have just said “Lord, we have left everything to follow you!” The Rich Young Ruler has just walked away sadly, disappointed in Jesus’ answer. And in just a little while, the sons of Zebedee will ask to sit at Jesus’ right and left hands. They didn’t understand. Jesus said that the first would be last, and  the last would be first. They didn’t understand.

Do we?

In 1 Corinthians, Paul asked if he was anything. He said that he was God’s fellow worker, and could not claim glory. He was simply a laborer, a gardener. He planted the seed, but God made it grow. It was time for the church to collect the harvest.

But how can we gather together if we are too busy fighting over who is first? Unity isn’t necessarily easy, but it is necessary. Whether we come to Christ as children or adults, we are in Christ, and together must work and pray. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

Men who are waiting
Just waiting for work
Not looking for it
Just standing alone.

Master comes searching,
Searching for workers
To pick his vineyard
And work his fields

“Come to my Vineyard
Gather my harvest
What I will give you
Will be good and right
Wage for the worker
Who works with good pleasure
Hurry and come now
Before the night.”

Workers start working
Glad for the wages
But master still searches
For more to come

Men are still waiting
Standing at market
Idly waiting
For someone to come.

“Come to my Vineyard
Gather my harvest
What I will give you
Will be good and right
Wage for the worker
Who works with good pleasure
Hurry and come now
Before the night.”

Workers start working
Glad for the wages
But master still searches
For more to come.

Men are still waiting
Expecting nothing
Day’s almost over
No chance of pay.

“Come to my Vineyard
Gather my harvest
What I will give you
Will be good and right
Wage for the worker
Who works with good pleasure
Hurry and come now
Before the night.”

Sun is now setting
Work is now done
Time for the wages
From last to first.

Wonder of wonders!
All is made equal
The same wage for a day
As for an hour.

“Why do you grumble
You who came early?
Did I not promise
And did I not give?

‘Is it not my work
To give a blessing
Grudge not the free gift
Oh you who are blessed!”

“Come to my Vineyard
Gather my harvest
What I will give you
Will be good and right
Wage for the worker
Who works with good pleasure
Hurry and come now
Before the night.”

Do you still worry?
Do you still grumble​?
Angry at God’s Grace
To those who are late?

Bless him who called you
Into the vineyard
And grudge not the master
The gift he has giv’n!