“Johnny,” she said “I know what’s bothering you and I have a story to tell you.” Johnny didn’t move so she began. It’s a story from the Bible and it goes like this, actually let me read it to you from my pocket testament.” Susie always carried her little New Testament with her. You never know when it will come in handy, she says.
It’s from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 20.
1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. 3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 At noon and again around three o’clock he did the same thing. 6 At five o’clock that evening he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’ 7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.'”The owner of the estate told them, ‘Then go on out and join the others in my vineyard.’ 8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’ 13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?’ 16 “And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then.”
Johnny perked up at that last part and said, “I never thought that I would really live out a Bible story, Susie, but I just did. I was jealous of the rest of you kids for being paid the same as me for all of the work that you did. I was wrong, really wrong and I am sorry.”
Susie smiled at her friend and said, you didn’t hurt my feelings but you might want to apologize to you aunt and uncle and…you might want to apologize to God for the jealousy. That’s a sin you know.”
“Boy do I,” moaned Johnny “I have been feeling really crumby ever since then. I always feel that way when I sin. You’re right I do need to pray. Would you pray with me?”
“Sure, that’s what friends are for.” smiled Susie. Our two friends sat together on that bench in the park and talked to God together about the problem that they had that day. Johnny asked for God’s forgiveness. And we all know that God forgives His children whenever they ask.
Johnny learned that he needed to be content with what he had. He got from Uncle Klaus exactly what he had agreed to and was promised. Jealousy had crept into his heart. Johnny confessed his sin and was forgiven.