A parable was told by Jesus in liking the kingdom of heaven to labourers who have been hired at different timings by an owner of a vineyard to work for him. Some were hired very early in the morning to work in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1), others were hired at 9 am (Matt. 20:3), and some at 12 noon (Matt. 20:5). Two other groups of workers were hired at 3pm ((Matt. 20:5) and 5pm respectively (Matt. 20:6).
Interestingly enough, in the parable, the owner of the vineyard agreed a specific amount of money (a penny per day) as reward for the first batch of workers (Matt. 20:2). But for the rest of the batches of workers hired after, the owner did agree to pay them, but he didn’t specifically agree any money with them. He just said he will reward them according to what he thought was right (Matt. 20:4, 7).
The Bible did say that when evening came, the owner started paying the labourers from those hired at 5pm – paying them 1 penny each. Those hired early in the morning thought that they will be paid more than that, but to their astonishment they were paid also 1 penny each. Because of this they murmured among themselves and were not happy with the owner of the vineyard. The owner told them that he did not do anything wrong, because he agreed to pay them 1 penny for the day and that’s what he did exactly (Matt. 20:13).
How many times have we not been like the first batch of workers? The fact that we’ve been in church or serving God for a long time does not give us the right to question why babes in Christ (1 Cor 3:1) have been blessed much as us or even better. Our job is to do the work that is given us and do it faithfully without worrying about the quantity of work done by new recruits.
Also, it is important to note from this parable that the faithfulness of the owner honouring his contracts to the hired represents the faithfulness of God. Let us not waver in well doing or in our work.
May God grant you understanding in all things!