God's Labor Views by Jim Henry

God's Labor Views
Jim Henry
Matthew 20:1-16

President Roosevelt at one time wrote Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and said, ''For our laborers, a short day is better than a short dollar.'' I'm sure these men would have taken that in that day. They said, ''We worked a long day and still got a short dollar.''

Here was the situation that Jesus was describing in His parable. They had a labor pool in those days. Men would go to a certain place in the village, and the owner of the vineyards or the harvester would come by and say, ''I need some men to go to work.'' The men would ask, ''How much will you pay us?'' They struck a deal between them and the owner, and early in the morning, before sunrise, these men went out to work.

About nine o'clock the owner came back to the village to get more help. He found some men who said, ''All right. Count on us.'' They made a deal, and they went to work. At twelve o'clock he realized that soon the rains would come and he needed to get the crop in, so he brought more men to help. At three o'clock more men were hired, and even at five o'clock more came. The men already out there working looked up an said, ''It must be getting bad, because there's just an hour of sunlight left and here come some more to work.'' So they worked all day long and finally it came time to be paid off.

You see, they were paid each night, because in the time of Jesus most men could only get one day's work at a time. They lived from day to day instead of a week or month. All they had was that day's earnings, and it was considered a sin to hold back a man's wages for a day, so they worked hard all day long and were paid each night.

They came for their pay-off, and the owner began with the group that came at five o'clock and said, ''Here's one denarius.'' To the group that came at twelve o'clock, he said, ''Here's one denarius.'' To the group that came at nine o'clock he said, ''Here's one denarius.''

Of course, the men who came early that morning s ...


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