In the passage, it seems so unfair that the workers are paid the same amounts for different hours of labor. This means their hourly rates were different, some who worked a single hour were paid at 10x the rate of those who’d worked an entire day. These higher rates were not bonuses, paid because of the unusual excellent of their work, but unmerited pay. Think about your own work experiences. Have you been in situations where some employees did less and others more, yet all were paid equally? Did this create resentment? Jesus raises a key issue for us—when we work, what is the source of our satisfaction?
Do you work in order to serve God? To express your gifts and vital powers? To honor your contract? To accomplish goals?
FAMILY TIME— Talk about why God encourages us to work.
Jesus wants to save us from one of the most common and unnecessary attitudes that leads to human misery—covetousness. Sometimes what we don’t have can ruin the experience of what we do have. Envy of a neighbor’s shiny new car, which has the latest technology, somehow lessens the joy of driving our own car. In a world of constant consumer evolution, where products and services improve daily, it seems like a sin to be behind the curve. But there will always be a better version, an updated model, a superior iteration. There will always be someone nearby who has more than we do. In our parable, our Lord wants us to focus, not on what others have, but our gratitude for our own blessings.
What makes you grumble?
How do we get infected with covetousness?
Why do you think this command culminates the 10 Commandments?
Do you have any gratitude practices?
Do you ever express satisfaction with your blessings?
How evenly is the work divided in your home?