Today’s reading from Matthew is talking about fairness when paying laborers for their work. Jesus is saying that fairness is not measured in terms of who-gets-how-much but in terms of how many are included.
For the early Jewish Christians this teaching meant that the kingdom of heaven was open to more people than just a chosen few, living exemplary lives. Even sinners who “got religion” late in life would still be welcome in God’s kingdom; in fact, they would be the first to enter it. In our own day, when life seems unfair, we must remember that those who deserve it least are the ones God loves the most.
Christ is the generous master who always pays a living wage, whether we’ve earned it or not. Since many are far from God, his love has to go that much farther to reach them. He must love them more. We must not be jealous when we see God loving others, but instead share abundantly in their joy when they finally discover how much (and by Whom) they are loved.
Preached by the Rev. Jake Dell on September 24, 2017 at Holy Trinity Church Inwood.