The Workers in The Vineyard – The Lazy Heretic Podcast Episode 08

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The Workers in the Vineyard

Here is a parable that is not often looked at! How annoying is this parable!!

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers on one denarius, he sent them into his vineyard for the day. When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. About noon and about three, he went out again and did the same thing. Then about five he went and found others standing around and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’
“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.
“‘You also go into my vineyard,’ he told them. When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.’
“When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day’s work and the burning heat.’
“He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what is mine? Are you jealous because I’m generous?’
“So the last will be first, and the first last.”
Matthew 20:1-16

How annoying is this parable!?

I feel like these guys are justified in their complaining, having worked a full day of hard labour during harvest under the sun. It’s not like they are sitting in an office typing!

Should we get a better pay for doing the same job, but better?

Does this justify a living wage in today’s society?

Comparison is the death/thief of joy
Pappa Tay/Teddy Roosevelt

Why is this parable so relevant today? It is because society today is so self focused and making yourself better by comparison.

We all spend way to much time comparing ourselves to others. And we need to stop doing that!

The other workers forget about the context of the wage, and how the other people might need the money to simply live.

Even if what someone is doing is wrong, our job is to sit there and ask WHY they are doing this? What’s the motivation? What is causing them to act this way?

It slows you down, and puts a gap between your thought and action. Help me understand what’s happening right now for you?

Deep Theology

The most common interpretation is that this about not being jealous of those who come to faith late in life.

Why can’t I worship God in my own way… by praying like hell on my death bed!
Homer Simpson

I worked for Christ all my life, yet this bigoted philanderer get’s in too!?

In the Old Testament it was life for life!

Jesus re-frames the Kingdom, and how God deals with people. He does the same in the Sermon on the Mount. It illustrates the grace of God to poor and wretched sinners the world over.

Who are the people at the time, and what were the rules at the time?

Jesus is the centre and he changes EVERYTHING. He blasts apart the traditional view of God that was prevalent at the time. He hangs out with sinners, and was there for the people who were hungry. He was killed by the arrogant, by the people who rejected him.

Similar to the question of the son, at the end of the Prodigal Son.

What’s mine is yours, it is grace to you as well.

People who have lived their own way and come to Christ, their testimony is that they were empty, lost, and alone.

Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.
Galatians 6:4-5

For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.
2 Cor 10:12

to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
1 These 4:11-12

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.
1 tim 6:6-8

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have what I need.
Psalm 23:1

“Do not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether one of your Israelite brothers or one of the resident aliens in a town in your land. You are to pay him his wages each day before the sun sets, because he is poor and depends on them. Otherwise he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be held guilty.”
Deut 24:14-15
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