A Fair Day’s Work — Parable of the Vineyard Workers Mt 20 #5

Matthew 20 New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Vineyard Workers

“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 

Matthew 20:1

He agreed to pay the normal daily wage[a] and sent them out to work. “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

Matthew 20:2-15

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Matthew 20:16

References & reflections

[1] https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/parable-vineyard-workers.html
[2] https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-laborers-vineyard.html
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Workers_in_the_Vineyard
[4] Vineyard costs, where are the lessons? Where is wisdom? https://vineyardandwinerysales.com/newsletter/napa-and-sonoma-county-real-estate-market-elements-vineyard-values-and-wine-grape-prices/

O Lord, Lead and Teach Us Truth! — Psalm 25 #1

Psalm 25 New Living Translation (NLT)

A psalm of David.

O Lord, I give my life to you.
    I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
    or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
    but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Psalm 25:8-10

11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
    forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
    He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
    and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
    He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
    for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

References & Reflections

[1] https://sarasmusings.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/psalm-25/

Eye of a Needle, Narrow Path, Kingdom of God — Matthew 19 #1

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Matthew 19:21

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 19:24

References & reflections

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/camel-eye-needle.html
[2] https://www.thejoshlink.com/article290.htm
[3] https://parablesreception.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-eye-of-needle-is-not-gate.html
[4] https://johndavies.typepad.com/blog/love-comes-blinking-through-the-needles-eye.html
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_7:13

Mysterious Riches of Christ —Ephesians 3 #1

Ephesians 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

God’s Mysterious Plan Revealed

When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles[a] . . . assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.[b] By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone[c] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him,[d] we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

REFERENCES & REFLECTIONS

  1. 3:1 Paul resumes this thought in verse 14: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father.”
  2. 3:6 Or because they are united with Christ Jesus.
  3. 3:9 Some manuscripts do not include to everyone.
  4. 3:12 Or Because of Christ’s faithfulness.

Gifts of the Magi #4: Baby Boy Born in a Manger — Nativity & Humility

The Birth of Jesus — Immanuel, Immaculate Conception

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.

References & Reflections

[1] https://biblehub.com/matthew/2-11.htm
[2] https://aleteia.org/2018/01/07/what-do-the-3-gifts-of-the-magi-symbolize/
[3] https://aleteia.org/2018/01/07/why-did-the-magi-bring-gifts-of-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi
[5] https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/significance-of-the-three-kings-gifts/
[6] https://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html
[7] https://www.gotquestions.org/three-wise-men.html
[8] John 19:39 https://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/19-39.htm
[9]  Psalm 72:11
[10] https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Gifts-Meaning-Frankincense-Myrrh/dp/1462116442
[11] https://www.guidedspace.com/single-post/2017/10/07/The-Miracle-Prayer
[12] http://dustoffthebible.com/Blog-archive/2016/12/19/daily-bible-reading-devotional-isaiah-92-7-december-19-2106/
[13] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_We_Have_Heard_on_High
[14] https://www.reformedworship.org/article/september-1992/canticles-christmas-singing-songs-zechariah-mary-angels-and-simeon
[15] https://shop.spreadshirt.com/274423/baby+jesus+manger+scene-A5d89cf186bbdbb2e6a4883bb?productType=992

Isaiah 9:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Paul’s Prayer for Power Ephesians 3 #1

Lord Jesus, please help us receive wisdom by Your Name and allow the Holy Spirit to enter into us while we attempt to understand and remember Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians and the revelation of the mystery of Christ:

14 For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that [you] being rooted in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with the Saints what is the breadth, the length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which [surpasses] knowledge, that [you] may be filled with all the fulness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19
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