“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
To our human minds, Jesus makes little sense. We make contracts. We have job descriptions that indicate very specifically what we are to do, and how we are to be paid. And if we work overtime or are called to something above and beyond, the expectation is additional payment for services rendered. The more time one gives to the job, then the more recognition is given and in some cases tenure is offered so the position is permanent. When Jesus describes the Kingdom of God, suddenly our ideas of workplace fairness are turned on their head. In the parable of the “Laborers in the Vineyard,” Jesus describes God as one who simply celebrates those who respond to the call to be transformed and does not base a seat in Heaven on years served or duties performed. No matter how long or short the list of good deeds and no matter how long one has lived on earth celebrating Jesus, all are welcome to the Kingdom. In God’s eyes, we are all equals. By God’s grace and mercy, everyone who turns back to God and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior is welcomed. Like Jesus affirmed to Martha when she asked Jesus about her brother Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die will live and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die,” (John 11:25, 26) all are welcome who live and believe, no matter when they turn back to God. It is all about grace, all about Jesus. God’s grace may sound a bit strange at times, but it is an incredible gift offered by an amazing God. In God’s eyes, you are amazing and loved more than you will ever know. Thank you Jesus for the gift of everlasting life.