King's Business - 1914-06




them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first The eleventh hour men first received their shilling (R. V .). This gives opportunity for the test which brought out the selfish, bargaining disposition of the first group, the very point of the par­ able, showing how the first (in his own esteem and expectation) becomes' the l?-st; and how the last (m his esteem and ex­ pectation) becomes the first. Vs. 10-12. “ When the first came, they supposed that they should receive more.” What right had they to suppose so? None. “ They murmured against the good-man Because he did not give them more than they bargained for 1 W e may be sure that, these men did not do more than was ex­ pected of them. It is the way of laborers to this day. They bargain for as much as they can get, resolved to do as little as they can. fT h ese last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us.” Would we need more to assure us that these men were never really workers in the' true vineyard of “the good- man?” The works of that vineyard are “ labors of love” by loving laborers, who rejoice in the good fortunes of their fel­ lows and even pray “the good-man of the house” to reward their faithful fellows richly; who “look not only on” their “own things (indeed forget them, and deem them­ selves unworthy of reward), but also on the things of others.” Their reward was not of grace but of debt (Rom. 4 :4 ). They are those who “ go about to establish their own righteousness,” moralists, and philan­ thropists who would lay the Almighty un­ der obligation to reward them with eternal life, whereas in all their doings God as an object was not in their thoughts. Histori­ cally and typically they are seen in the Jews who agreed to do the works of God under the Law for the wages of the earthly blessing. They did a poor job, got full pay, and were discharged. Vs. 13-15. The Reasonable Lord. He condescends to justify His ways. I do thee no wrong.” They were paid as agreed on. “ Take what is your own and go. As

“ To hire laborers ’’—Nothing is more ap­ parent than that all the Lord S servants are, as thç Scriptures describe them. His bond- servants, whom He owns and does not hire. The word “ hire” is demanded here to meet the needs of the lesson to be taught and thé motive Christ meant to re­ prove, viz., that of serving God for pay. Peter asks, “ What shall we have there­ fore?” With Israel the LORD conceded to that motive and hired Israel under the contract (covenant) of the Law (Deut. 7:12), and perhaps Israel is the group here hired at the first. All the rest were dealt with on a contract of trust and grace. Vs. 3-5. “And he went out the third hour ”—about 9 o’clock, and again at 12 and 3 o'clock, and employed the men he found with the agreement that they should have what was fight. Trusting in his word they went into the work not knowing what they should “ have therefore. Vs. 6, 7. "And about the eleventh hour” -..—"H e found others, standing idle"—“ Why stand ye all the day. idle?” “ No man hath hired us.” “ Go ye also. Thè' instance of the thief saved on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) shows that in this life it is never too late tó be savedt the eleventh hour laborers show that it is never tpo late to serve. The market place where the. Lord seeks laborers is this busy world. All, in His sight, are "idlers” who are not at work in His vineyard, and all acknowl­ edge that they were, after they accept His offer. “What fruit had ye in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?” (Rom. 6: 21; 1 Cor. 3:12-15). Those in this age and country can hardly say no man has offered. If they have not been “ hired” it is their own fault. Why are you idle? There is work for all. We see that all who were offering themselves on the mar­ ket place, and at whatever time, were given work. Let us ask three questions more: What is there that ought to be done in the vineyard? What of it can you do? Why do you not do it? “ Go ye also into the VINEYARD.” 2, Paying the Laborers, vs. 8, 9. “ Give

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