I love it when I read a passage in God’s Word I have read many times before, one that is completely familiar to me; then God opens my eyes and heart to a whole different meaning of what He is saying. It shakes me up and keeps me bowed before Him realizing I don’t really know Him at all.
That’s what happened this morning as I read about the “the landowner who went out early to hire workers for his vineyard” (v. 1). Versus 9 & 10 say, “When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too were paid a day’s wage.”
Just then, something occurred to me I had never thought of before - everyone becomes equal no matter how old you are or what stage of life, you receive the same reward - salvation through Jesus Christ, our Savior. The gift of salvation, all by itself, no matter when you receive it, is equal; it allows each of us to spend an eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven, with Elohim, our Creator.
When the earlier workers realized this, they protested (v. 11-12). Then the landowner says this, “Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?” (v. 13-15)
I wrote in the margin of my Bible, “Jesus can do what He wants with His salvation!” The beautiful thing is that He chooses to give it freely to every single person He created; it is up to us to receive it as a wonderful, free gift. That makes us all equal. I have no right to judge the salvation of another, when they became saved, how saved are they, how they earned the same gift I did when they didn’t have it as long as I did... (Ouch Lord!) Salvation is God’s to give and He gives it freely through His Son, Jesus Christ, to every single person who accepts it from Him.
I really don’t even know if I thought otherwise, but I realized this morning that I never thought that - that it doesn’t matter when you receive Jesus Christ in your life, whether you are 6, 14, 22, 42, 58 or 91 years old (no significance to those ages at all, just the numbers that came to mind), you receive the same gift of salvation across the board, and it has the exact same value.
I honestly don’t know if this passage of scripture refers to anything I just wrote; but I know it is what filled my heart this morning as I read it and helped me realize that salvation is no respecter of persons or time.
“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last” (v. 16). In the Kingdom, this creates an even playing field and makes us equal across the board.