Bible Reading: Matthew 20:8-13
“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’ “Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’ “He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we?
Electricity is out!
My young friend and I needed to work on our computers. Our phones were dead and there hasn’t been power for the past 2 days. We don’t have a generator which left us with only one option – and that was to go and charge our inverter. We made haste to the office, carried the inverter with the batteries (my God, those things are heavy) and dumped them into the car. We had planned to charge the inverter at a friend’s house. We got there, and by the time we dropped the inverter where it was to be charged, we were both completely exhausted. That was some work. We came back in about three hours and we had a good deal of charge in the battery, and so, we began the uphill task of taking it to our house where it was to be used. Hardly had we plugged in our devices when the unexpected happened. No! Don’t tell me electricity has been restored!
One would think we were supposed to be excited. Electricity was back. Now, we could charge not only our devices but the inverter itself. But no, we were sad. So, my younger brother who had been whiling away his time without thinking about the fact that he may need power on his devices would actually have power he did not work for. I considered that unfair. He was supposed to come and beg me and I will allow him charge his phone for 15 minutes, but no, everywhere in the house now had power. It’s our natural inclination. Those who work must see the reward for their labour. And those who don’t? Well, it will be unfair for them to have rewards for things they didn’t work for, right? But God says no! King David spoke of this, describing the happiness of an undeserving sinner who is declared to be righteous: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose sin is no longer counted against them by the Lord.” But really, let’s consider it, would it be fair for God to give eternal life to two people; one who has been working for God since childhood, and another an armed robber who gave his life to Christ after countless murders and robberies?
Justice and Mercy
God is Holy! Holy!! Holy!!! He cannot behold iniquity. He cannot stand it. He detest sins. He hates worldliness but he loves the world:
Joh 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
Eventually, we would have to agree that even if God would have mercy on you, your sins will have to be paid for, and that is the ONLY way the Justice – Mercy equation will be balanced. So God had to “take it out” on Jesus and really he did, big time.
Isa 53:10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s plan will prosper in his hands.
I’d always thought that it was the devil that bruised our Lord Jesus. But indeed, the bible says it pleased the Lord to bruise him. God took it out – the full payment for sin – on the body of Jesus. If Mercy and Justice have been satisfied, why do we want God to take sin out on people whose sins have been paid for?
How much have we been forgiven?
1Jn 2:2 He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
Isn’t it interesting to know that Christ has paid for our sins? Paid in full? Paid for all? This is something worth meditating on. It gives us that reassurance that what we think we’re struggling to get, we already have. It makes us focus more of our energy on loving God rather than the consciousness of sin. The 12th verse of this chapter makes us understand the fact that our sins have been forgiven on account of Jesus’ name. People who have tried as much as possible to earn their own salvation or of the school of thought that they have been saved by grace but kept by works haven’t meditated long enough on how much they have been forgiven. If God so loved this sinful world that he gave his ONLY begotten son, how much more you who have become an heir by adoption?
He gave us the conditions for hire…why aren’t we content with our ‘wages’?
There are quite a number of things which we should understand. If we did, we would understand that we don’t even deserve what we have, hence it CANNOT be called wages! I will be sharing a few truths from God’s word here and hopefully I will be able to share the rest when the time is right!
- Salvation for anyone will NEVER be on account of what he has done (or not done). It will ONLY be on account on whom he has believed (or not believed) John 3:16
- Apart from Jesus, the ‘holiest’ person in the bible should be Moses. He was so holy that his face shone. He saw God and spoke with Him face to face, yet, his holiness could not save him. Moses was the Law, yet, the Law could not save him Jude 1:9
- All have sinned (that includes Abraham, Moses, your holy, yes your holy General Overseer) and fall short of the glory of God. That means we all need a savior.
- Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law for EVERYBODY who believes in him, hence, we ALL have received the free gift of righteousness. Romans 8:4, 5:17
- Only an unfair God will punish Jesus for my sins, and punish me again for my sins. If indeed he wanted to punish me for my sins, then he shouldn’t have sent Jesus.
- The Love of God for the believer is His love for His natural Son. Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:5-8
Think about this: if he would give me what he promised me (eternal life) and give him that does not work the same gift, what is that to me? When I sat down to understand the love of God for us, and His love for the world, I stopped sectionalizing. If God would indeed bypass the natural human order and pour out his spirit on all flesh and make the house hold of Cornelius baptized in the Holy Spirit before they received baptism by water, why don’t we stand and make the same comments that that truly meek man, Moses said: “Are you jealous for me? Would that all GOD’s people were prophets. Would that GOD would put his Spirit on all of them.” Numbers 11:29