God is Not Fair

Matthew 20:1-15

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Matthew 20:1-15

Fairness is a wonderful human attribute we learn about when we’re young and demand of each other as we grow.

In Matthew 20:1-15, Jesus shares the parable of the vineyard workers. The owner of the vineyard rises early to hire laborers, then adds hired laborers at various times throughout the day. At the end of the day, he pays his laborers all the same wages.

This may not seem “fair” in our human understanding, but we must remember that God is not fair, but He is good.

First, this passage shows us that it’s always too soon to quit, but never too late to start.

Though it is better for us to start serving God early in life, it is never too late; He calls us to the vineyard, even at the eleventh hour.

Second, if we bargain with God, we will cheat ourselves. Matthew 20:2 reveals that the early workers had haggled with the owner for more money until they finally came to an agreement. Yet, they are surprised when the owner offers the same wage to the later laborers.

Third, it is wise to let God keep the books; if we try to keep a record of our service, we run the risk of taking credit we don’t deserve.

Fourth, don’t look for fairness; ask for mercy. Fairness is based on the idea that we are owed something, but God does not owe us anything. As sinners, He deals with us on the basis of justice and mercy, and if we ask for justice, we will get exactly what we deserve. Instead, we should beg for mercy.

Finally, another’s blessing is never our own loss; just because the vineyard owner blessed the later workers doesn’t mean the early workers lacked. Likewise, when we see God bless others “more” than He blesses us, we are not losing anything.

Adrian Rogers says, “We will be much happier in this life if we take our eyes off of our brothers and sisters, put our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be grateful for what He does.”


Apply it to your life

Have you been called to the vineyard to serve our Lord Jesus Christ? It’s never too late to start. If you have served Christ for a while now, remember there is no seniority in the kingdom of God. Welcome your brothers and sisters in gratitude and rejoice in each other’s blessings.