“They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.'” Matthew 20:7
Those men spoken of in this parable are those standing, waiting, in the market place at the end of the day. Day’s end has come and they have yet to be hired by any man. But Jesus is no ordinary man. He calls those the world is unwilling to employ. He finds a spot, a place, in His vineyard for those who are the world’s rejects. In fact, in a strange sense, it seems that Heaven trusts earth more than earth trusts herself.
There are more workers available than the world could ever realize or would be willing to admit. The problem is not with the availability of workers, but with the attitude of the world. We are so quick to reject those who have ever stumbled or made a mistake. A sailor who shipwrecks will seldom find a second ship. We deny even the possibility of the presence of perfume in a broken box. A stained life is a life set aside – never be used or trusted again.
But Jesus has more faith in man than man does. He refuses to reject those who have come – even at the end of the day. He refuses to reject those whom have been rejected by us. He gives a second chance to the most unlikely of people. And time and time again He is proven right. In fact, His greatest worker – a man named Saul of Tarsus – came at the end of the day. The workers in the Lord’s vineyard wouldn’t even look at Him, but the risen Lord insisted on breaking bread with him, and the fragments that were left have provided spiritual nourishment for the souls of men ever since.
I am so thankful for Jesus’ deep and enduring hope in man. Many of us are in fact those end-of-the-day-workers. We have been rejected by the world. We have been denied entrance into their vineyard. Somewhere in our past we made a misstep, an error in judgment; there was a momentary weakness and some yielded to temptation. As a result the world has rejected us – for their is no room in their vineyard for those who’s feet have once stumbled.
However, there is always room in Jesus’ vineyard. In fact, He goes forward at the end of the day looking for those who have been rejected by the world. He is the One who has trodden alone in the wine press. He is the One who said even that there were none with Him. There were no bidders at the end of the day for those rejected by the world but Him. Nobody wanted Saul of Tarsus. No one would receive the repentant thief. There was none willing to bring on that one who came so late at night – Nicodemus. Those around them were wary and suspicious of them. But not Jesus. He trusts the world more than the world trusts itself. That’s why He has gathered and called the most unlikely, those who have been rejected by the world. He was willing to risk what nobody else was. He has trusted the soiled shirt, the ruined robe, the broken body. He has accepted life at the bottom, and it is from the world’s graveyard than He has called workers for His vineyard.
Isn’t His faith absolutely, unbelievably, and utterly amazing!