The last first

Matthew 20:1-16

All day long a landowner has been going into the marketplace to hire workers for his vineyard and now only one group remains. The landowner says to the workers, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” They respond with one of the most painful lines in all of scripture: “Because no one has hired us.” The text does not say why they were not hired. Perhaps they did not have the needed skill set. Maybe they could not speak the language, lacked a proper education or were missing a green card. Maybe they could not afford the increase in gas prices and had to walk, or stayed home that morning with a sick child. Perhaps there simply were not enough jobs to go around. Whatever the reason, they were left out. Like the old man in a rowboat in New Orleans who kept going back into the flooded city, finding more and more people who needed to be rescued, Jesus says, this landowner desperately wants everyone to have a place in the vineyard.


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