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Published 6/4/10
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Book of Matthew, Wayne Teasdale


Dear Readers,

Jesus often used characters and situations in His parables that the local
people could easily recognize. Even 2000 years later, today's story resonates
clearly: everybody is God's "favorite," whether they have labored long in His
vineyard or have barely slid in under the wire. He is a generous, equal oppor-
tunity Employer! There are many messages in this story. I notice that we are
all asked to labor - to live a consecrated, charitable life. I also see great hope
for those who arrive late to the "party." They receive the full measure of His
goodness as well. And it's clear Jesus is telling us that the order of things in
this world: who is important here and who is not, is often reversed in the just
Kingdom of God. I'm sure you'll uncover other layers in this lesson as well.

- Lisa

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Chianti Valley vineyar
Photo by Lisa Bowman            All rights reserved


"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out
at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing
with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his
vineyard. Going out about nine o'clock, he saw others
standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them,
'You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what
is just.' So they went off. (And) he went out again around
noon, and around three o'clock, and did likewise. Going
out around five o'clock, he found others standing around
and said to them 'why do stand here idle all day?' They
answered, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them,
' You too go into my vineyard. 'When it was evening the
owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Summon
the laborers and give them their pay, beginning
with the last and ending with the first...'"

Matthew 20:1-8
New American Bible

italian vineyard
Photo by Lisa Bowman                  All rights reserved

"When those who had started about five o'clock came, each
received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they
thought that they would receive more, but each of them also
got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against
the landowner, saying, 'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day's burden
and the heat. He said to one of them in reply, 'My friend, I am not
cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one
the same as you? (Or) am I not free to do as I wish with my
own money? Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Matthew 20:9-16
New American Bible

The Last Word:

Many of the least in this life, those ignored
by passersby, will have a high place in God's
God's Kingdom. Those who have everything
they want in this life, who are among the first
here and who don't see the plight of the last,
will be last in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Excerpted from "The Mystic Hours,"
by Wayne Teasdale
New World Library, 2004
































































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Being right isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Nan Rae
Renowned Chinese brush artist


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
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