“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?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:11-16)
In this chapter Jesus says some things that are antithetical to what the world, our culture, our society values. The parable of the workers in the vineyard alone is enough to knock people for a loop and cry out against such injustice and stupidity. Those who came to work later in the day were obviously shiftless idlers and goldbricks, lacking in ambition, skill and productivity. It is both unjust and poor business for this man to pay all his hired hands the same amount of money for differing amounts of work!
Although this parable shows the different economics of the Kingdom of God, the real message that Jesus conveys is about God’s mercy. Everyone who comes to repentance through faith in the blood of Jesus finds forgiveness. That includes liars, selfish, self-righteous people and ourselves as well as those who we think “deserve” no mercy or less mercy than we: drug addicts, alcoholics, murderers, rapists, perverts, prostitutes, sodomites, politicians, celebrities etc. Jesus rewards any and all who humbly come to Him by faith. Therefore rather than voice our outrage and complaints about the blatant immorality of sinners who seem to prosper, we ought really to pray for them to come to faith. Without Christ they will lose everything.