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"I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you."
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
Mat 20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
Mat 20:2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.
Mat 20:3 When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;
Mat 20:4 and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.
Mat 20:5 When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same.
Mat 20:6 And 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?'
Mat 20:7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.'
Mat 20:8 When 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.'
Mat 20:9 When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.
Mat 20:10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.
Mat 20:11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,
Mat 20:12 saying, '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.'
Mat 20:13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Mat 20:14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.
Mat 20:15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
Mat 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
[Mat 20:13 (vv. 13-16) "Denarius" is a lawful day's wage. The goodness of the householder is in his willingness to pay the equivalent of a day's wage to those who labored for only one hour. No offense can be charged to him since he agreed with each group to pay what was right. His sovereignty guaranteed him the right to pay more generously if he so desired. Also, the story may have Jewish-Gentile overtones, with the Gentiles' coming belatedly into the great plan of God. Whatever the case, the lesson in the parable is surely that God is both fair and generous with His servants.
NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes
Readings for the week of October 1st
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
First: Ezekiel 18: 1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25: 1-9
Second: Philippians 2: 1-13
Gospel: Matthew 21: 23-32