Am I Not Allowed?

Jesus tells a parable of laborers in a vineyard, who’ve been hired for the day, and incrementally throughout the day, by the Master. And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled  at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’” (Matthew 20:8-15)

Albemarle Estate vineyard, Charlottesville

How insidious is comparison! How unsettling and distorting is horizontal thinking! Even a repentant, restored Peter, after Jesus’s resurrection, falls prey to the tentacles of comparison, and Jesus’s puts a stop to it with, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22)

It is certain we will not understand all our Lord’s methods and reasons, but the more we seek Him and His character, how He works sovereignly in the lives of men, the greater our confidence will be in His purposes. Some He raises up, some He brings low. Some prosper, some suffer. Throughout the Scriptures He upends the supposing of men by exercising His authority over events and people, accomplishing every good plan. He does invite our questions, but sometimes answers them not by explaining His ways but by inviting our trust.

Lord, You own all–things, resources, time past, present and future– and have the right to do as You please. Cause me to delight in that, and in You.

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