Late for Work

by Shelby Barker


The landowner went out early in the morning and hired some employees to help. He agreed to pay them $50 for the day of work. Then he went back out and did the same thing around noon, 3 pm and 5 pm.


At the end of the day, the landowner lined up all the employees to pay them for their work. He paid each one the $50 that was due. As you can imagine, the workers that started early in the morning were pretty frustrated. They couldn’t believe that they did so much more work than those that came in at the end of the day, but they were all being paid the same.


“It’s not fair!” they thought.


I don’t blame them. We want things to be fair. I see it in my kids virtually every day, “You gave him a bigger piece.” “But she gets to stay up late!” and on and on. I don’t think we ever really grow out of that.

This story comes from a Jesus parable found in Matthew 20 and his point’s so good. It demonstrates this powerful truth that grace doesn’t keep score.


Grace doesn’t keep score.

The people that think you have to work or strive to get grace, want it to keep score though. They want their “fair share.” Those are religious people. Don’t be like them. That’s the thing Jesus came to dismantle. Every religion on earth is trying to address how you and I can earn more grace. They lay out systems that say if you do just the right thing at the right time you will earn grace.


That’s not the way of Jesus though.


The Jesus movement is something so different. Jesus was ushering into the world something completely new. A new way to relate to grace.


Through Jesus, we don’t earn grace. It’s a gift. You and I are like the people that are coming in 1 minute before the workday is over and have received the full $50 payment. Just celebrate that! Stop getting frustrated when other people are getting undeserved grace… instead, celebrate with them! Be thankful, because of Jesus we have received this gift that none of us deserve.


Who needs a little grace in your life?

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