Is God Unfair?

““When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ “But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? ‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.” (Matthew 20:11–14, NASB95)

In this account, the worker who worked all day received the same amount of pay as the worker who only worked an hour. I am sure that this is some kind of violation of the labor union contract! Not! In the parable, the landowner negotiated a fee for service with those who worked all day and didn’t negotiate a fee for services with the others who joined the vineyard’s labor throughout the day. The landowner went out searching for workers and saw the idle people in the marketplace. He invited them to work in His vineyard, and His only commitment was that he would make it right and didn’t discuss a specific salary. When it came time to pay the workers, everyone received the same pay regardless of how many hours they worked. Those who had agreed to work all day for a denarius were upset because they assumed they would get more because they worked longer. The workers who worked hard all day assumed that they would get more than the one-hour workers because they were there all day. They felt they were “entitled” to more because of their efforts, and the landowner was not fair. Is God Unfair? The landowner rebuked the worker stating that he had an “evil eye” concerning the issue. The worker was offended at the landowner’s generosity with his own possession. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Ephesians 2:8, NASB95)

Grace is kindness that is given without regard to the worth or merit of the one who received it. Grace is a key attribute of God’s benevolence along with mercy and long-suffering or “Hesed” love. If you think for a moment that God is unfair because He has not shown you grace and mercy in a manner that you deem necessary, then think again. What do you really deserve (Rom. 3:23, 6:23)? Have you set expectations for a special grace gift from God? Do you feel that those who serve Jesus and have been part of the church all their days are more deserving than those who become part of the body of Christ at the end of their life? What makes you more deserving of God’s gift of grace? NOTHING! You have been chosen and saved by grace.

God is more than fair and offers His grace gift equally to all so that the last are equal with the first and the first are equal with the last. Instead of being jealous of how God deals with others, we should be thankful for what God has given to us. This Thanksgiving, may we consider ourselves blessed by God and sit in amazement of His benevolent grace.
Pastor Cary

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