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Grape Picker's Wanted!

Mr. Goodman went into town and gathered workers for his vineyard.  He found many people who were inactive (just hanging around doing nothing).  He promised to pay them $100.00 for: a day’s work (6am-6pm). 

The workers arrived promptly at 6am and began to labor.  As they toiled in the field, Mr. Goodman went out to seek more help (it was around 9am).  He found people standing around, so he told them to go into his field, and he would pay them ‘whatever was right.’  They joined the others in the vineyard.  He went out again at noon and did the same thing.  At 3 o’clock he hired even more people, with the same agreement (to pay them ‘whatever was right’).  The day was going well.  Around 5pm, Mr. Goodman saw that there were [still] others not doing anything, and so he sent them to his vineyard; and promised to pay them, ‘whatever was fair.’        

At six o’clock the hoot blew and Mr. Goodman told his foreman to pay the workers: in reverse order of their arrival.  As they passed through the gate, the foreman (as instructed by Mr. Goodman) handed each of them a one hundred dollar bill.  That was great! What a delightful story [you would think] but, no! 

The initial workforce didn’t appreciate the fact that they had worked for twelve hours and received the same wage as those who were hired [intermittently] during the course of the day. They started to bicker amongst themselves; Mr. Goodman was annoyed with the preliminary workforce, because of their greediness.  Did they have a right to be disappointed; after all, they received what had been promised to them! 

Those who arrived, at 9, 12, 3 and 5 o’clock had no idea [what] their pay would be, and yet they accepted the job.  They put their remuneration in the hands of the vineyard owner, and it proved to be a sensible decision. 

There are many people [today], who would be willing to work in the vineyard if only they knew what to do with the harvest after it has been gathered.  And then there are those who think that only a preacher should gather harvest.  Others have been taught that salvation will be handed to [a select group of people] on a silver platter, so [in their minds] it would be a waste of time to get busy.  They don’t think anything about being idle.  After all they go to church and they say their prayers at night.

When Christ Jesus said: “whosoever will,” He really meant it. 

We can’t look at a person and assume that they’re motivated and doing worthy works.  Remember! Those standing idle were singled out by Mr. Goodman and told to work in his field (for earnings).  And we certainly can’t count the number of souls that are actually being won for Christ, based on the occupied seats in the churches. 

There’s a limited amount of time for true believers to work in the: the kingdom of heaven field.  When it’s [quitting time] our wage will be decided by Christ Jesus.  Once it’s dark, our work on earth will done and we’ll be gone.     

by BJB

Compare to:

Matthew 20:1-16

1: 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.

2: And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3: And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

4: And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

5: Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

6: 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?

7: 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.

8: 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.

9: And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

10: But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

11: And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

12: 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.

13: But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14: Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

16: So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

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