Redeeming Pleasure

Devotional
"Fairness According to Jesus"

Jesus told a story about a landowner who needed work done on his property. Early in the morning he recruited people to help him and offered to pay them a day’s wage. Realizing there was more work to do, the landowner went back out at nine in the morning and recruited more people. He offered to pay them what was fair. He did the same thing later in the day and recruited more people at noon, three in the afternoon, and five in the evening.

Common logic here would warrant that the early workers would make more than those hired later in the day. Whatever scale the landowner used, most of us would agree there should be some type of scale used. Yet in Jesus’ story, at the end of the day the landowner paid everyone the same wage!

As you might imagine, the initial workers protested this. The landowner asked why it was wrong for him to pay everyone what he thought was fair. After all, everyone made what they agreed to work for. This isn’t a story about an unfair God. It’s a story about how easily we feel jealousy to those around us.

The point of the story is that every worker made a day’s wages. Sure, some of them worked less time. But all of them were able to enjoy the reward.

Depending on your own journey with God, that’s either an extreme encouragement for what God continues to offer you, or an extreme frustration based on how you’ve lived thus far. It’s not too late. But it’s also not too early.

If God really is offering me a life of pleasure, why would I not try to enjoy it as much as possible in this life now? The early workers were able to be with the landowner on his property all day. What better place to be?