For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. (Matthew 20:1-5)
Many people don’t understand the true point of this parable because they don’t realize the true value of the “denarius” in the parable. The “denarius” represents the eternal rewards of heaven and has an infinite worth. Consider, therefore, a modern translation of the parable with an appropriate valuation of the eternal reward.
Let us imagine that Bill Gates went out to hire people to work in his house. At 9:00 A.M., Bill finds Joy and she agrees to work in his house for “whatever is right”. At 12:00 A.M., Bill finds Josh and he agrees to work in his house for “whatever is right. At 3:00 P.M., Bill finds Rob and he agrees to work in his house for “whatever is right”. At 5:00 P.M., Bill pays the three different workers. First, he gives 1 Billion dollars to Rob, second he gives 1 Billion dollars to Josh and third, he gives 1 Billion dollars to Joy. Not having the appropriate attitude of gratitude, Joy complains to Bill. “Mr. Gates that is not fair! You gave those other people a billion dollars, but I worked four times as long as Rob and almost twice as long as Josh!”
Now, of course, Joy is really missing the mark here. Instead of looking at it rationally and recognizing that Mr. Gates has paid her ten million times what her labour was actually worth, she decides that she has been treated unfairly and complains. As silly as this attitude plainly is, we all wrestle with these kind of foolish notions at one point or another. If I had a dollar for every time I have gone to the Lord and said, “but Lord that is not fair . . .” I would have no need of working for Bill Gates as in the parable. Fortunately for us, God’s gracious love is demonstrated in the parable by the fact that Joy is in heaven and has received her reward. God rebukes her for her attitude of ingratitude, but He does not punish her and has, in fact, been extremely generous to her. I am very encouraged by this because if God can save someone like Joy, then God can save someone like me. All praise and honour and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.