Today I was reading my daily devotional “Destined to Reign” by Joseph Prince . Today’s devotional titled : The Head And The Body Are One . In today’s teaching, it spoke of the head being Christ and the Body being the Church as One. Not separate, but one,and everything that we, the body needs has already been provided by the Head. This made me think about wisdom and the scripture 1 Corinthians 1:30- But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God.
I realized the wisdom of God is already mine, because, Christ as my head, I have the Mind of Christ.-1 Corinthians 2:16 it was at this point that the parable of the Laborers, found in Matthew 20:1-16 opened up to me even more, thanks to the Spirit of Wisdom.Which came as gently as a breeze , I knew something I did not know before.”How gracious are You Lord!.”
I have often read the Parable of the Laborers found in Matthew 20:12, but never saw the contrast between law and grace, until the spirit of wisdom revealed it to me. Let me explain.what I received.
The Landowner in verse 1, represents Jesus, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers. These are the Jewish people. They represent those who are under the Old testament Law, working to earn their reward by their own efforts and strength.
The Last Laborers , the 11th hour workers, are symbolic of the gentiles representing those not under law but under grace. A New Covenant,who receive, the promise of grace without having to earn it or work for it.
This is what the early Jews were upset about, they worked longer, but were paid the same as those who labored not. This is Law and grace, in parable form. The Jews were working under Law, trying to earn their reward by their own strength and self effort. They wanted what they considered their ‘Just’ pay. Actually, they assumed they would be paid more, than the price they had agreed upon .since they “worked” more than the 11th hour laborers. They became indignant when the sum paid was the same.
This is where the understanding of Grace, comes in. When the 11th hour laborers confessed to Jesus that ‘no one would hire them’, in verse 7, they were in essence saying “we have no qualifications”, which is exactly what is necessary for grace to flow in your life, when you realize, I am unqualified, I don’t deserve anything but death, I cannot earn my way to God. And I can do nothing in my own strength.
Jesus responds to them,” you also go into the vineyard,and whatever is right you will receive” . To understand grace, you must believe and receive by faith ,that Jesus Himself has qualified us. He has made a way for us to God by His death and ressurrection. He is our payment.
Jesus made us “right with God”. We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. We didn’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, and we never were qualified by our own merit to receive any of it. Yet, we have the privilege of enjoying the fruit of His labor. Jesus says in John 15:13 : Greater love has no one than this,than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Jesus proved His great Love for us, by going to the cross, because He did all the work, and laid down His life. In this we receive not what we ‘deserve’ which is death, but what the landowner says, ‘Whatever is right you will receive’.
In other words, His Righteousness!, Jesus who is All -right, made us right with God. Jesus paid the price, and we receive all His benefits, because it was all His to give to begin with. We receive what is right, from Him, His righteousness.
Here is what the Jews did not understand, some even to this day, the Jewish people were the first ‘called’ by God, Through father Abraham. They were ‘chosen’ as His special people and told the Messiah would come, as a Jew. But,because of their unbelief, and rejection of Jesus Christ as their Messiah.We the gentiles, (who were last,) were grafted in, we received the Gospel of Jesus Christ being ‘last’ to hear.This is what Verse 16 means: “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen”.
In the parable of the Laborers, the payment was the same for whoever would receive. The same is true today,The payment is from Christ, by Christ. The payment has already been made, and agreed upon between God and His Son. Justice has been served by Christ, and we are now justified in God’s sight. It was always about Christ and it always will be.
To think otherwise, that it has something to do with you, or your works or your self effort,is to be deceived, .It is because Jesus is good. It is all Him, and of Him, always has been , always will be. If you see it any other way, than your ‘eye is evil’. And you are under Law, and not under Grace.
May the wisdom of Christ and His finished work fill your heart and mind.We who believe, are the body of Christ. and He is Our head. The Body and head are one. Without Christ as your head, you are walking dead.