Matthew, Chapter 20

- ל ה ח -

God Wants Us to Work His Vineyard and Merit Eternal Life

1For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.(Matthew 20:1-16)

Jesus tells his disciples the “Parable of the Vineyard Workers”, which describes a landowner (i.e., God) who never stops hiring more and more laborers (i.e., adepts) to work his vineyard (i.e., to believe and grow spiritually). No matter the amount a person works, his reward is determined by divine grace and through the mediation of Jesus, God’s missionary king. It doesn’t matter whether we work for a day or just an hour. At the end of the day, our final reward awaits us in the Kingdom of Heaven. Though a person can repent even on their deathbed and have eternal life, we shouldn’t postpone our penitence as we cannot know which day will be our last. We must overcome our selfish, negative impulses and join the work in God’s vineyard.  

Nobility is adopting and practicing good traits, enabling us to rise to the highest levels of humanity.