1「因為天國好像家主清早去雇人進他的葡萄園做工，2 和工人講定一天一錢銀子，就打發他們進葡萄園去。3 約在巳初出去，看見市上還有閒站的人，4 就對他們說：『你們也進葡萄園去，所當給的，我必給你們。』他們也進去了。5 約在午正和申初又出去，也是這樣行。6 約在酉初出去，看見還有人站在那裏，就問他們說：『你們為甚麼整天在這裏閒站呢？』7 他們說：『因為沒有人雇我們。』他說：『你們也進葡萄園去。』8 到了晚上，園主對管事的說：『叫工人都來，給他們工錢，從後來的起，到先來的為止。』9 約在酉初雇的人來了，各人得了一錢銀子。10 及至那先雇的來了，他們以為必要多得；誰知也是各得一錢。11 他們得了，就埋怨家主說：12 『我們整天勞苦受熱，那後來的只做了一小時，你竟叫他們和我們一樣嗎？』13 家主回答其中的一人說：『朋友，我不虧負你，你與我講定的不是一錢銀子嗎？14 拿你的走吧！我給那後來的和給你一樣，這是我願意的。15 我的東西難道不可隨我的意思用嗎？因為我作好人，你就紅了眼嗎？』16 這樣，那在後的，將要在前；在前的，將要在後了。（有古卷加：因為被召的人多，選上的人少。）」
If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here. Then focus on the following section:
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3“About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7” ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
- This story troubles many. It’s obvious that the owner of the vineyard wasn’t fair. Jesus is saying that some people want to put relationship with God on a work-for-hire basis. And these folks often assume they’ll be rewarded for being so busy.
- Relationship with God is based on His generosity (v15), His grace, not our works. We don’t advance spiritually by being busy.
- Am I becoming so caught up in doing things for God that I forget to simply love Him? Do I forget to stop, listen to people, and try to respond to their needs? Am I actually drying up spiritually but still spending my energies in an unproductive way? What is God telling me?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little while longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Use the material on this website for today’s family devotion. http://children.cccm.com/site/pdf/New/curr215.pdf