Matthew 20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, 'You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' 13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?' 16 So the last will be first, and the first last."
This real life situation story is about entry into the Kingdom of Heaven by invitation from the Ruler of the Kingdom, the Creator God, the Lord. The main point of the story is that each person invited into the Kingdom receives what is promised by the King, not according to works done. The person who enters the Kingdom of Heaven at the end of his sinful life by repenting of his sin and believing the gospel receives eternal life in a new heavens and earth just as he was promised. The person who enters the Kingdom of Heaven as a child by repenting of his sin and believing the gospel receives eternal life in a new heavens and earth just as he was promised. Each received eternal life by invitation and promise, not by work done.
The Apostle Paul made this very clear to each of us today in his letter to the Ephesian Christians. He wrote, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We are not to begrudge God's generosity to those who entered the Kingdom of Heaven at the eleventh hour of their lives and received eternal life just as we who entered early and began to serve God early in our lives. We are to rejoice. Service to God is a blessing that comes after entry into the Kingdom, not a burden to gain entry into the Kingdom. Serving God for a longer period of time is preferable to entering late in life and having no time to serve. The fields are ripe for harvest. Let's seek to bring the whole harvest in and not worry about who gets what. Our generous Lord has given each of us all He has as a gift. We could never have worked enough to purchase what He has freely given us.