Earning Heavenly Wages
Matthew 20 Summary
The chapter starts with the Lord telling a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus describes how a landowner went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his fields for a specific wage. The landowner makes additional trips throughout the day to the market place and hires others, some late morning, others in the afternoon, and finally at the end of the day. To these the landowner says he will pay them what is right.
At the end of the day, everyone received the same pay. However, some of the workers complained because they worked longer and received the same pay as those who only worked for one hour. The landowner reminded them that they agreed to a certain amount and were paid that amount. He also points out that what he paid out belongs to him and he may do whatever he desires with his own money.
Matthew also records when Jesus told His disciples about His upcoming fate. He told them He will be betrayed, crucified and raised from the dead. Shortly after this, we see a power struggle among the disciples. Two of the disciples had their mother ask Jesus to give them prominent positions in His kingdom. Of course this made the others angry. The Lord explained how they have it upside down. To be great in the kingdom of heaven, you must be a great servant.
The chapter concludes with Jesus being moved with compassion and healing two blind men.
In the parable of the landowner, Jesus addressed the Old Covenant (set wage / law) between Israel and God and the New Covenant (God’s grace) between God and all of mankind. Like the men in the parable of the landowner, we need to be careful that we do not distort the goodness of God. It does not matter if God gives us a little or a lot, we need to be thankful for the grace He has shown us. Instead of being envious of the blessings He gives to others, we need to be grateful for what He has given us. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” Philippians 2:4.
Lord, I thank you for making the payment for my sins. Enable me to humble myself before you so that I can be a walking gospel. Help me not to despise, but to reach out to the lost. Keep me from being self-seeking, striving or any other thing that takes the focus off of YOU. Amen.
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