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Vieraskieliset / In-english

The gre­a­test grace

Vieraskieliset / In-english
26.2.2016 14.55

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:28

Mer­ci­ful and lo­ving God will be cal­ling sin­ners in­to His king­dom un­til the very last day.

Work in vi­ney­ards was com­mon in Je­sus’s time. The work­day be­gan ear­ly, at about six in the mor­ning. In our pa­rab­le, the wor­kers who star­ted ear­ly in the mor­ning were not paid by the hour but were pro­mi­sed a lump sum of one de­na­rius. This was the stan­dard dai­ly rate for an ex­pe­rien­ced wor­ker. Du­ring the day, the ow­ner of the vi­ney­ard went out many ti­mes to rec­ruit more wor­kers. He pro­mi­sed them all the stan­dard pay. Some new wor­kers came as late as the ele­venth hour.

When the eve­ning came, work in the vi­ney­ard was fi­nal­ly fi­nis­hed. It was time to pay the wor­kers, but eve­ry­bo­dy was as­to­nis­hed at the way the pa­ying was done. The wor­kers who came last were paid first. And even they were gi­ven a full de­na­rius!

Qui­te un­ders­tan­dab­ly, any ex­pe­rien­ced wor­ker would have felt up­set about this. Should not those who on­ly wor­ked for an hour get on­ly part of the full pay? The ow­ner of the vi­ney­ard ad­d­res­sed the pro­tes­ting wor­ker gent­ly. “Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not ag­ree with me for a de­na­rius? Take what be­longs to you and go. I choo­se to give to this last wor­ker as I give to you. Am I not al­lo­wed to do what I choo­se with what be­longs to me? Or do you beg­rud­ge my ge­ne­ro­si­ty?” (Matt. 20:13–15.)

My grace is suf­fi­cient for you

The vi­ney­ard in this pa­rab­le stands for God’s king­dom, and the ow­ner of the vi­ney­ard is the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her Him­self. Je­sus spoke this pa­rab­le to te­ach us to be con­tent with God’s grace, for the po­wer of God is strong in those who are weak in them­sel­ves. Je­sus ref­lects the es­sen­ce of God, full of grace and truth. Grace al­wa­ys co­mes be­fo­re truth, and it is un­me­ri­ted love to­wards us. “If it is by grace, it is no lon­ger on the ba­sis of works; ot­her­wi­se grace would no lon­ger be grace.” (Rom. 11:6.)

The work­day in the pa­rab­le stands for the length of hu­man tem­po­ral life, or the time of grace. A per­son can en­ter God’s king­dom even at the very last mo­ment of life. For as long as there is life, there is hope. Even those who be­lie­ve their sins for­gi­ven at their last bre­ath are pro­mi­sed the full re­ward in he­a­ven. God sanc­ti­fies the sin­ner in His cong­re­ga­ti­on on earth, and the li­ving gos­pel is proc­lai­med by the fol­lo­wers of Je­sus (John 20:22–23).

It is sad that many wor­kers le­a­ve God’s vi­ney­ard be­fo­re the end of the day. The work that they did un­til their de­par­tu­re is not re­war­ded. Who could have done such great and nob­le deeds in his life as King So­lo­mon did? Yet even he stra­yed and be­gan to wors­hip alien gods be­fo­re his de­ath. (1 Kings 11:4–11.)

The cri­mi­nal on the cross had done hor­rib­le things, but he wan­ted to be­lie­ve. Je­sus pro­mi­sed him a place in Pa­ra­di­se (Luke 23:43). In the Let­ter to the Ro­mans we read, ”where sin inc­re­a­sed, grace aboun­ded all the more” (Rom. 5:20–21). Sin brings de­ath, but grace eter­nal life, be­cau­se our Lord Je­sus Christ gi­ves each be­lie­ver the gift of righ­te­ous­ness.

Wor­kers will be re­war­ded

In an old Fin­nish hymn we sing about re­ward: ”Af­ter the war there will be pe­a­ce, and wor­kers will get their re­ward.” The wor­ker in this hymn me­ans any­bo­dy who feels poor and humb­le in him­self and has a he­art­felt de­si­re to rely on the po­wer of the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her. The most im­por­tant thing for each child of God is to be­lie­ve their sins for­gi­ven to­day.

We should not grow ti­red in our en­de­a­vour of faith, thin­king there will be time to re­pent la­ter. We get new strength for our en­de­a­vour when we, again and again, look at the ini­ti­a­tor of our faith and the re­ward we will ul­ti­ma­te­ly re­cei­ve. Even Mo­ses pre­fer­red to be mist­re­a­ted with the pe­op­le of God in Egypt rat­her than en­joy the flee­ting ple­a­su­res of sin. He con­si­de­red the in­dig­ni­ty suf­fe­red by Je­sus gre­a­ter we­alth than the tre­a­su­res of Egypt, for he was loo­king to the re­ward. (Heb. 11:25–26.)

God is a lo­ving fat­her who al­lo­wed his Son to die for the sins of man­kind. “He does not deal with us ac­cor­ding to our sins, nor re­pay us ac­cor­ding to our ini­qui­ties. For as high as the he­a­vens are abo­ve the earth, so great is his ste­ad­fast love to­ward those who fear him.” (Ps. 103:10–11.)

Tuo­mo A. Ko­mu­lai­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: S.-L.L.

Pub­lis­hed in Päi­vä­mies on 20 Jan. 2016


Her­ra on mi­nun va­lo­ni ja apu­ni, ketä minä pel­käi­sin? Her­ra on mi­nun elä­mä­ni tur­va, ketä siis säik­kyi­sin? Ps. 27:1

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