God’s Love Not My Labor

Posted by Craig Britton on

Proper 20: Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16                                  

Matthew 20:1-16

Do me a favor. Read the story that Jesus shares in the gospel text above and see if you don’t have the least bit of, “That’s not fair, Jesus” gushing from your heart. I know you will. I have read this passage hundreds of times. And I get the twinge every time. All that to say that there is an indicator there, a red light flashing perhaps. And the message? I don’t yet fully trust the gospel. In some dark recess of my mind, salvation is about what I contribute.

News flash. Or better, Good News flash. It is NOT. The whole story can be unfolded and 

unraveled because this story is about the generosity of the Master of the house and not the laborers. As a great Lutheran hymn declares, “Salvation unto us has come by God’s free grace and favor. Good works cannot avert our doom, they help and save us never” (LSB #555). The amount of work in the field was never the issue in our story and it isn’t in our situation either. It never is. Salvation is of the Lord. Not of the Lord … and. It is that simple. REJOICE!


to leave comment