Divine truths are difficult to understand. When men try to perceive dimly the mysterious ways of God, they do not always accept what they see. Such was the mystification when Christ told his disciples the parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard:
“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a derius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing.
About five in the afternoon, the householder went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ When evening came, the householder said to his foreman, ‘Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
The labourers who were hired last came and each received a derius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a derius.
As they received it, they began to grumble against the householder thus: ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
But the householder answered one of them, ‘Friend, I do you no wrong. Did not you agree to work for a derius? Take what is yours, and go your way. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
So the last will be first, and the first will be last; for many be called, but few chosen.”
Christ thus used yet another earthly story to illustrate a profound truth. The labourers employed all day were thinking only of the work they had done, not the plight of those uble to obtain work and feed their families.
The householder had kept his part of the bargain, paying them a full day’s wage for a full day’s work. So what was their grouse? They tried to put a value to the work the latecomers did by comparing it with the length of their own. And they ended up resenting the householder for being as kind to others as he thought proper.
With boundless compassion, God is ready to take unto his fold even those who remained indifferent to divine grace for most of their tural lives, but want to make amends at the eleventh hour. The moment a man opens his eyes to the great purpose of the world to which he has been sent, the door to his salvation opens. This is his recompense, nothing more, nothing less.
That God’s love and mercy shine upon all equally is heavenly justice. The true devotee having realized it, is humble and at peace.