Disturbing Grace

February 8th, 2022

RG AUDIO 020822


Matthew 20:9-16

We expect that something is wrong with this story. I have heard some rather outlandish interpretations that have attempted to “make sense” of it. How could a person hire people at various times of the day as indicated in the story, and then, pay them all the same wage? It just “makes no sense.” That is, unless you see what Jesus has just done to the way we evaluate the worth of people. In the world of grace, God does not measure us by our productivity, but on our availability. The source of our good, of our value, is not in what we can “produce” to justify our “wages.” The source of our value is in our availability. Grace is constantly being poured out into our world, into our lives, and that grace is not based on our abilities, our productivity, or our contribution.

Jesus “bookends” the story of the strange landowner with that stunning reversal of our norms: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last” (v. 16). The grace of God is scandalous! Are you available?

Author: Jesse Middendorf


Add your Comment