Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Imagine the following impossible scenario: you walk into a car dealership and say, “I want to buy one of your cars, but I only have five dollars.” Then the dealer hands you the keys to a brand-new Mercedes- Benz and says, “It’s all yours.” You stand there in complete astonishment for a moment. Then you ask the dealer, “Why did you do that?” And the owner says, “I’m so rich that I just felt like giving something away today. Please take the car and enjoy it—it’s on me.”
Today’s parable presents a similar situation involving an impossibly generous landowner. It’s the end of the day, and the landowner is paying his day laborers. He gives the laborer who worked only one hour a full day’s pay—the same amount that he gave those who had worked since dawn. We can imagine the laborer’s shocked response: “But I haven’t worked enough hours to deserve this!” And perhaps the landowner replies, “The number of hours you worked doesn’t matter. I just want to be generous, and you can’t earn someone’s generosity.”
We know that the landowner in this parable represents God. And we know that God cannot be outmatched in generosity. He even gave us his only Son, and that is a gift we could never earn. No matter what any of us do for the Lord, whether we follow him perfectly, make huge charitable donations, or sacrifice our lives as martyrs, it still wouldn’t be enough to merit such a priceless gift. The love behind such generosity can be hard to grasp, but that only makes it all the more appealing.
Some of us may think that this “impossible” love is too good to be true. We know that God loves us in theory. But in the back of our minds, we’re thinking about how much work we still have to do to clean up our bad habits and sins.
Never forget: the riches of God’s immeasurable grace far outweigh your sins and flaws. Jesus has carried each of your sins. He has forgiven you. He has given you his own Holy Spirit to help you live as a child of God. So have confidence in God’s mighty power—and freely receive his mercy and generosity!
Word Among Us