THAT'S NOT FAIR: This opening parable rubs us the wrong way. You kind of want to take Jesus aside and explain to Him what these kinds of policies will do to overall employee morale, and perhaps implore Him to institute some sort of incentive pay for those who have the wherewithal to get to work early. Of course, we know that Jesus isn't giving lessons on farm management, rather He's teaching us that the person who exercises true faith twenty minutes prior to their death will receive the same grace as does a person who believes from childhood and has maintained a lifetime of service on multiple church committees. Before you instinctively conclude that this isn't fair either, remember what really isn't fair: the fact that God saves anybody at all.
Jesus would be a little perplexed at our complaints. After all, He's spoke of the reward based on our accomplishments for His Kingdom multiple times so far as we've read through Matthew. That should be more than enough to incentivize anybody. But Jesus would explain here that the denarius, and even our coming rewards, are all beside the point. The point is serving the King. This is a concept lost on democratized people like us, but the King must be the top priority in our lives.
SONS OF THUNDER: As if perfectly on cue, the Disciple comic relief team rolls in whenever the the tension gets too high. We learned back in Mark's gospel that Jesus nicknamed the brothers James & John as Boanerges, meaning Sons of Thunder, and once again today we are reminded why they're called that. Turns out it's ol' Zebedee's wife (their mother) whom they're named after. She goes on here to perfectly illustrate the point Jesus made in the opening parable. Jesus shows the model we must follow to achieve greatness for our King in v26-28.
AAA Prayer Tips:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The great King who is generous beyond all measure (v15).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Whoever wants to become great must become a servant, and whoever wants to be first must become a slave (v26-27).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: