Is God free to be generous? [Matthew 20:15]

As I was reading the scripture for my sermon in church this evening, a dimension of the text jumped out at me that I hadn’t zeroed in before. The text is the parable of the workers in the vineyard: Matthew 20:1-16. If you’re unfamiliar, in this parable, Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven as being like a landowner who hires a bunch of workers, some at 6 am, others at 9 am, and still others at noon, 3 pm, and 5 pm, and he pays them all the same amount. When the early birds get angry that the latecomers got the same wage, the landowner responds in this way:

‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. 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 own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Continue reading