Briefing: Throughout the gospel of Matthew, Jesus uses parables to show us that our thinking is amiss. Have you ever heard a kid say, “not fair”? As a law enforcement officer, is there an unwritten part of your job that calls you to make sure that things are fair?
Dispatch (Assignment): Investigate the issue of fairness and how you apply it in your job. Read Matthew 20:1-16.
On the Street: NOT FAIR!!! I am sure as a child you probably said this phrase a time or two. As adults, we still think it but in order not to sound childish, we don’t verbalize it. What do you think Jesus was trying to teach us with this parable? Let’s pretend for a moment that the land owner is God and the pay is entry into heaven. As we go through this story we see people who were called early in their lives to serve the Lord. They work all their life in the service of God. Later He goes out and hires more workers who are in the middle of their life. They work in the service of the Lord for the last half of their life. He hires still more, some who are in the last days or hours of their life. In the end, all who are hired by God are granted entrance into heaven.
Think of a 20 year old rookie who gets hired by an agency and works until he/she is 62. At the end for their career they get their retirement. Now imagine someone who gets hired on at 61 and works one year. At the end of their short career they get the same retirement. Where is the justice in that (not fair)?
I know that I’m going to heaven because 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life”. Now think about the scum bag you put in jail for selling dope to kids last week, who punched you in the face as you tried to arrest him, and has a criminal history of violence against society. On his death bed, he is presented the gospel and the Holy Spirit leads him to Christ and salvation. Is it fair that we get the same “pay”? He/she gets to go to heaven after the havoc and destructive life lived here on earth? Yes.
We serve a great, gracious and merciful God who loves all of His children the same.
Highlights from this Read: In verse 7, by saying that no one hired them, could this be substituted for, “No one ever shared the good news of Jesus Christ with me”? In verse 8, He gathers everyone around the great throne (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). He begins with the last and moves to the first. In verse 13 we see that even though He seems to be stern with them, He still calls them friend. In verse 15 there is a similar answer from God to Job chapter 38.
Investigational Resources: Matthew 18:12-14 shows how far God will go for “one of these little ones”.
Officer Safety Principle: Beware of thinking you are better than those you are hired to put in jail. We have to be on our guard against a sense of entitlement, being ungrateful or prideful. You never know what plan God has for them.
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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