9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Have you ever gotten a little bit jealous or upset because you felt you didn’t get your fair share? When Jesus told this parable, He hit on an attitude that occurs all too often in our lives. I know that the quickest way to get me angry is to show me an unfair situation. Here the workers who came and worked all day suddenly raised their expectations based on the pay given to someone else. Jesus quickly corrects them and tells them that they are getting exactly what they agreed to work for that day. This parable is a tough one for many to understand and I can understand why. We all feel slighted when we think we deserve more. But the point of the Gospel flies against our self-deserving notions. The good news of the Gospel is that we don’t get what we really deserve from God. Instead, we get a whole lot of good that we could never earn on our own.