Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Landowner and The Workers (adapted from Matthew 20 - New International Version)

Matthew 20 (New International Version)

A landowner woke up early in the morning to go to the marketplace in a village nearby to find some workers for his vineyard. He found some men that looked strong but seemed like they had nothing to do that day. He agreed to pay them £80 for the day and sent them to his vineyard to start working. At midday, he visited the marketplace again and came across some men idly standing around doing nothing. He asked them, "Do you want to work in my vineyard for the rest of the day? I can pay you £80?" The men were pleased with the offer and hurried off to the vineyard to start working.

An hour before dusk he went out a third time, back to the marketplace, and found 2 men who looked bored with their lot in life. "Would you like to work for the rest of the day in my vineyard?" the farmer said. "I can pay you £80". The men thought the farmer was playing a trick on them as there was only an hour left before the sun would set, but when they realised the farmer was being genuine they rushed off as fast as they could in the direction of the vineyard to  start work.

When the darkness of evening finally fell, the owner told his foreman to assemble the workers in a line, and he would pay the men that worked last, first.

"Thank you for your work today. Here is the £80 that we agreed you should be paid."
"Thank you landowner!" The men replied happily.

The landowner then paid the men who had started working at midday. They were pleased to receive the £80, but not as pleased at the workers that were paid first.

Finally, the landowner paid the workers who had started work in the morning. The men took the money, but then started to grumble and complain that they had been working all day long and had done much more work than the others who started later in the day.

The landowner replied "Didn't we agree before you started work that I would pay you £80 and you were happy about this"
"Yes, landowner" the men replied
"Don't let my generosity make you feel envious of what other men get. You were happy to work for me for £80. You should be happy to receive your £80"

After a few moments the men had calmed down and realised that it was wrong to let another man's good fortune make them feel like they had received bad fortune.

They thanked the landowner for teaching them an important lesson. A lesson which only they had been taught that day.

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