God's Great Grace - Part 2
September 7, 2021
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard (Matthew 20:1).
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard is an illustration of the great grace of God and how it relates to the work of God’s Kingdom. Because this is a parable, we will need to identify the players and places in the parable.
The landowner is God the Father. The laborers are Christians. The vineyard is the Kingdom of God. The steward is Jesus Christ. The denarius is salvation. The workday is the physical life of those who have been saved. The early morning is considered to be the 1st watch, the 1st hour, or 6:00 am. That’s when the workday began in Jewish culture. The 3rd hour would be 9:00 am, the 6th hour would be 12:00 noon, the 9th hour would be 3:00 pm, the 11th hour would be 5:00 pm, and the 12th hour would be 6:00 pm, or quitting time. The evening (12th hour) is eternity. These times reflect the different periods of one’s life. Regardless of the time a person was hired to work in the vineyard, he received the same wage - 1 denarius.
The spiritual principle illustrated by this parable is the sovereign grace of God extended to us. Every person who comes to faith in Jesus Christ does so by the sovereign grace of God. Each person receives the same salvation that every other Christian receives. There are no exceptions and no variations to the gift of salvation. It is the same for everyone. It doesn’t matter if a person is saved as a child, teenager, young adult, median adult, senior adult, or if he is saved on his deathbed - the salvation received by the child is the same salvation received as the dying soul.
John the Apostle became a believer in Jesus Christ when he was called to be a disciple of the Lord as a teenager. The thief on the cross who repented and turned to Jesus in faith was saved that very hour. John the Apostle died in his 90s, which meant he has some 70 years to live for Jesus and to serve Him faithfully. The thief on the cross only had a few hours to live for Jesus. Both received the same salvation. Their rewards in heaven will differ, but their salvation is the same.
The parable includes a clear warning about being critical of God for giving the same salvation in all of its fullness to those who believe on their deathbed as He gives to those who believe as children. The parable is not about fairness, and neither is salvation. It’s about God’s grace. More about that later.
“Father, how great Your love, mercy, and grace are toward each of us. While I do not fully understand Your grace, I appreciate it more and more each day. Though I am not worthy of any grace from You, I am grateful that You have not withheld Your grace from me. I will be eternally grateful to You for such marvelous grace. Amen.”