Friday, June 12, 2009

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

Matt 20:11-16
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

A few have asked me how the concept of different rewards in heaven fits together with this parable about the workers in the vineyard. Everyone who works gets the same reward. Both those that worked 1 hour, and those that worked all day still received the same penny. But that is the key. Everyone who was rewarded worked. The significance here is that it doesnt matter how long you worked in God's service, only that you were a worker and found working when the Master comes. So the reward is the same for those that work, regardless of duration. But the reward is not the same for those who work and those who do not. If you are found working at the end of the day when the Master comes to pay the laborers, you will receive the full reward. This is why the sciptures plead with us to "enduring to the end." Again, it doesn't matter how long you worked, even if you stop working 30 seconds before the Master comes, it will be as though you hadn't worked at all.

D&C 42:42 Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.

1 comment:

Jon Javid said...

good work. I also really like this other perspective on the laborers in the vineyard parable. it something I had never heard before but made complete sense