by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Something Better Than Fair (6 of 11)
Series: Parables Series: Surprising Lessons on the God-Life
Roger Thomas
Matthew 20:1-15

Introduction: This was no way to run a business. That's probably the first thing that strikes us about this parable. It just doesn't make sense. Maybe it's even unfair.

I can relate a bit to those workers. They worked by the day. They didn't have permanent jobs. They just showed up at the town square or market each morning. Farmers and other employers would come by to find the workers they needed. We probably don't know much about that kind of process around here, but it still operates in the city. Where we used to live there were several day labor and temp agencies that would send scores and scores of workers (mostly Hispanic) out for the day to work on construction sites, to do landscaping, or other odd jobs. A few would get picked up and given regular jobs, but most would go back at the end of the day to return for a different assignment the next day.

I did a number of jobs before and during college. I, of course, worked on the farm where I grew up and for our neighbors. I also operated an elevator in a department store. Not the self-service push-button kind, but the old-fashioned ones. I would stand at the lever controls in a white shirt and tie, welcome people aboard, ask them what floor, and then try to stop the lift so that the floors came close to matching up and then say, "Second floor--women's and children's clothes. Watch your step." I wasn't with that very long. There were too many ups and downs to the job!

That sort of sounds like the fellow who explained his long resume like this. (This clearly belongs in my collection of the World's Worst!) "My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I couldn't concentrate. Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe. After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just was ...

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