Matthew 20:1-16 NRSVue
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received a denarius. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’, 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”,
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Some thoughts on this scripture
In justice the fewer hours a person worked, the less pay he should have received but the vineyard knew that what he was offering the workers was minimal and that to give a person less, the family would be left hungry. He went beyond justice, motivated by compassion.
Are there times when I selfishly consider myself more deserving than others?