"It's Not Fair!"

John Maassen

READ : Matthew 20:1-16

“It’s not fair!” As the father of five, how often have I heard that complaint as the children were growing up! From infancy we seem to be looking over our shoulders to see how others are doing. This seems especially true in the work place. What is Jesus teaching us in His parable?

He is not denying workmen a living wage. He is not condemning labor unions. In fact, He is not talking about human relationships at all! He is helping us to understand our proper relationship to God, our divine “employer.” The work place is the kingdom of heaven. The workmen are employed by Him.

Jesus reminds us that God is God. We have no rights over against Him, only privileges. As our Creator and Redeemer, He has a claim on all that we are and all that we have. Even when we give our very best to Him, we are only doing our duty. He doesn’t have to bargain with any of us. Nothing that we can possibly receive from God have we really earned.

Still, God pours out His blessings upon us! He sets no “minimum wages” or “salary caps.” So, how dare we complain? Paul reminds us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).


Lord, remove pride and resentment from my heart. I praise You for the cascade of riches You have poured over me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.