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Gods vast generosity towards us

November 10, 2022

Daily Scripture

Matthew 20:1-16, Luke 12:32

Matthew 20

1 “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 After he agreed with the workers to pay them a denarion [a denarion was a typical day’s wage], he sent them into his vineyard.
3 “Then he went out around nine in the morning and saw others standing around the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I’ll pay you whatever is right.’ 5 And they went.
“Again around noon and then at three in the afternoon, he did the same thing. 6 Around five in the afternoon he went and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why are you just standing around here doing nothing all day long?’
7 “‘Because nobody has hired us,’ they replied.
“He responded, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and moving on finally to the first.’ 9 When those who were hired at five in the afternoon came, each one received a denarion. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each of them also received a denarion. 11 When they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 ‘These who were hired last worked one hour, and they received the same pay as we did even though we had to work the whole day in the hot sun.’
13 “But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I did you no wrong. Didn’t I agree to pay you a denarion? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I want to give to this one who was hired last the same as I give to you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you resentful because I’m generous?’ 16 So those who are last will be first. And those who are first will be last.”

Luke 12

32 “Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights in giving you the kingdom.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus told a story that pointed to God’s amazing model of generosity toward all of us. In the story, people who worked all day watched the landowner pay people who’d only worked one hour the same amount they had agreed to work for—and got angry. (You can likely imagine their guesses of the larger pro-rated amounts they’d get.) But the vineyard owner didn’t cheat them. He sadly asked the upset, envious workers, “Are you resentful because I’m generous?”

  • Does the master’s way of paying the workers in this story feel unfair? “It was not unfair, of course. No one was underpaid; it was just that some received ‘unreasonable’ generosity. That is what the kingdom of heaven is like.” * In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul said Christ was treated as we deserved, and we are treated as he deserved. In what ways does that more-than-fair exchange deepen your gratitude for Jesus’ generosity?
  • When Jesus called his followers a “little flock,” they were. But he said that was no reason to fear. God generously “delights” in giving them (and us, a “flock” grown much larger) God’s kingdom as a gift. In Matthew 6:27, Jesus added the insight that worry does little good. Have you ever spent time and energy worrying about things that never happened? How does worry differ from wise foresight or precautions? What are more sustainable ways than worry of facing life’s challenges?

Loving God, in fall foliage and spring flowers, every morning and every evening, you delight in giving to me. Keep my generosity growing, even though it will never match the magnitude of yours. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

(Janelle first wrote this touching post for us in 2018.)

Do you know that Jesus loves you? Like the generous landowner in today’s parable, but in an even more personal way. I mean, really loves you? Beyond just sentiment that would grace the front of a greeting card, Jesus deeply and honestly cares about you, your life, your past, and your future. You are constantly on his mind, and his love for you never wanes, not even for a second. In your greatest joys, his heart bursts with excitement. In your darkest or scariest moments, he holds you close and aches with and for you. In the day-to-day life of commutes, making lunches, sending emails, going to the grocery store, and getting gas – Jesus loves you then, too.

When the news is noisy, times are frightening, and disaster strikes around the world, Jesus cares for those who hurt, but that doesn’t mean his love for you is any less intense. Even in the moments of greatest failure, whether they be out in the open or secretly tucked away in your thoughts for not even those closest to you to see–Jesus sees, and he still roots for you. Your brokenness does not bind his affection.

Jesus wholeheartedly loves you beyond any love you’ve experienced from another person. Do you know that? And more importantly, do you believe it? Has Jesus’ love for you penetrated deep into your soul where it is so ingrained in your being that your identity springs from it? I think that would be his hope for you. Perhaps even as you’re reading this, you might hear him whispering, “I see you. I’ve got you. And with everything I have, I love you.”

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* R. T. France, article “Matthew” in New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994, p. 930.