Man’s standards not the same as God’s

People should trust that his way is right, Revs. Pugh, Perez say

This is Dutch artist Rembrandt Hamenszoon van Rijn’s depiction of the landowner paying the workers in his vineyard. Rembrandt lived from 1606-69. (Courtesy Photo)

Jesus told the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16 to show that people who obey God after many years of disobedience will receive the same reward as those who have always been faithful.

That’s according to the Revs. Terry Pugh and Daniel Perez, who say it was also to illustrate that salvation was for the first time being offered to the Gentiles like it had always been available to the Jews.

“God doesn’t operate by our standards,” said the Rev. Pugh, pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church. “We have a sense of fairness and we expect God to operate fairly, but he works by his own standards and it is not his job to comply with our expectations, it’s our job to comply with his expectations.

“Most people are dissatisfied because they expect life to be fair and it’s not.”

In the parable, Pugh noted, the landowner paid the workers who were hired late in the day the same as those who had worked all day.

“Jesus was saying that we should just let God handle things however he wants to,” he said. “Our responsibility is not to have a fair God but a God we can trust to do things right. He has been at this for a long time and he is pretty good at it.

“People who come into the kingdom late can get the same blessings as those who have always been in it.”

Pugh said the truism is also illustrated in Luke 23:39-43, where a thief being crucified alongside Jesus asks to be remembered and Jesus says, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

The Rev. Perez, the Spanish language pastor at Odessa Bible Church, said, “The message of redemption, salvation and eternal life is for everybody.

“You may work hard to get a reward, but no matter how hard you work it is all about God’s love. We should change our mentality from ownership to stewardship.”

Perez said God’s sovereignty is expressed in Verse 15 of the parable, or story teaching a moral lesson, where the landowner asks, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?”

“We cannot tell him what to do,” he said. “We have to accept what he is doing for us and be grateful for that.”