Saturday, April 10, 2010


The Simple Truth

Jesus' greatest teaching tool was the use of parables. One of my favorites is the parable of The Workers in the Vineyard.
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, "You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right." So they went. He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, "Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?" "Because no one has hired us," they answered. "He said to them, "You also go and work in my vineyard."

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, "Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first." The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. "These men who were hired last worked only one hour," they said, "and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day." But he answered one of them, "Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?" So the last will be first, and the first will be last. (Matt. 20:1-16)
As in most of the parables, Jesus teaches more than one lesson. I highlighted two of those lessons in this parable.

Today we have numerous people who want to tell us what to do with our money. Many want to use the power and force of government to make us do what they want with our money.

The second is a question of motive. Are they envious of others' generosity? do they want to feel generous by forcing others to do what they want with their money? Obviously, they don't think you have the right to do what you want with your money.

Indeed, the left wing of the Democratic Party thinks your rights don't matter and they should be able to tell you what to do with all your material belongings and how you should act at all times.

The truth is quite simple. You can find it in short, simple stories of Jesus' Parables, Aesop's Fables, Zen stories, and many other places. But, when you get a 17 minute non-answer to a simple question, you're not getting the truth. You're getting smoke and mirrors.

Great post. I find that "liberal" thinkers are very confused about money and generosity.
Thanks. They're either confused or try to make everything as confusing as possible in an effort to confuse others.
Oh! If only more warnings about the soul-killing effects of envy and covetousness were heard from church pulpits and fewer calls for petitioning Caesar on behalf of expanding the Welfare State!
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