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True Equality

Daily Reading: Matthew 20

Scripture Focus: You have made them equal to us. (Matthew 20.12)

Devotional Thought: In Matthew 20, Jesus told a parable, that I have always read as if it were directed against his detractors. Reading it more carefully, however, I came to realize that Jesus taught this lesson while speaking to his disciples - alone! And what did he say? That those who come to him at the end of life will experience the same glorious eternity, as those who have worked hard and served Jesus all their lives.

That's a tough pill to swallow. Think about those men who followed him first, who travelled with him when he had no place to lay his head, who suffered deprivation and disregard alongside Jesus. Surely, this teaching was an affront to their sense of fairness. It is evident that James and John didn't buy into this philosophy. Just a few verses later, we find them jockeying for position to get the prime seats in the Kingdom. They must have felt that they deserved special treatment.

Are we any different? How can it be fair when "These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat"? If I'm honest, I would admit that it doesn't seem fair to me. But it's the truth, isn't it? Jesus has made us all equal.

It is human nature to want to be among the privileged, the special, the favored. Yes, we are glad that these others come in at the eleventh hour, but we want to believe that we deserve something more, for we have served God faithfully. The truth of the matter is, we don't deserve any of God's gracious gifts. Yet, in his love he brings us all into his family. Thanks be to God!

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for giving me what I could never deserve - a place in the Kingdom of heaven. Help me to always show to others, that same generous spirit that you have shown to me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 93.1-5

1 The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. 2 Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. 4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!

5 Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.

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