Friday, January 09, 2009

Matthew 20:6, 12 - Jews accepting Jesus at the 11th hour

Matthew chapter 20 in the parable of the workers of the vineyard tells how the man that worked all day was paid no more than the man who did not begin serving until the eleventh hour, something most of us would consider unfair. But the story is not about getting paid fairly but rather about those who are called to accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. This parable is about Jews who have in their own minds worked hard for God for so many years and one day finally accept Jesus as contrasted with Jews who may have ignored god altogether and in the last hour before the end - finally come to Jesus. The point is that it was not about the work but about doing what was agreed on and expected. There will be rewards in heaven regarding our fruit which will be fair but as far as salvation goes, that's a basic agreement we either meet or we don't.

Waiting until the last hour will likely cost us in rewards but the important part is that we don't wait until it is too late. Most importantly, we don't get into heaven through effort - those who say to themselves "...I'm not perfect but am a pretty good person..." are definitely in trouble with their eternal status. Nobody is good enough, God only accepts those that accept his terms which are actually very simple--accept Jesus as Lord and savior, then serve him demonstrating your sincerity.

Matt 20:6 "And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day long?' ... v12 saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.'

Of course, the same verses apply to all who have not yet accepted Jesus -- there is still time before the end...

--Matt 25:13 "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.