80. The Discussion Concerning Wealth (continued)
1“The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
b 2After agreeing with the laborers for a denariusc a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place;
4and he said, “You go in the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went.
5Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same.
6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
7They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.'
8And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.'
9And when those hired about the eleventh hour 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 on receiving it they grumbled at the householder,
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 do you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give this last as I give to you. 15Is it not lawful to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'”
b “The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.”—This parable, The Laborers in the Vineyard, is an example of Jesus' preceding statement, “many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” (Ch. 80, Mt. 19:30) The laborers whom the householder hired first were the last to be paid, while those who were hired last were the first to be paid.
All the laborers were paid the same wage. This parable teaches us that our reward for serving God is the same whether we come to this service early or late in life. All are granted entrance into the kingdom of heaven, life eternal.
c “a denarius”—The standard wage for a day's labor.
Mt. 20:1 The / For the (RSV)
Mt. 20:15 Is it not lawful to (KJV) / Am I not allowed to (RSV) (163:3/1804)