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  • Henry Omotayo

Am I Doing You Any Wrong?

Matthew 20:1-16

Message No. 0713 | Twitter @GodandUs |

I have a few privileges that I am sometimes reluctant to use because I hate to make people feel bad. One day I was on a trip and because my originating flight was delayed for a very long time, I missed my connecting flight and had to sleep over in the city of my transit airport. I was very tired by the time I got to the hotel, then I met a fairly long line at the check in desk. Now, one side of the desk is usually reserved for people with hotel loyalty statuses that are good enough to bypass the line, so I decided I would use it as I had qualified to do so. But there was one guy who left his line and came to block me, saying that it was not fair to jump the line. Of course, it wasn’t, but I was not jumping the line, I was simply using my privilege, and the hotel desk explained to the guy that I was doing nothing wrong. He still wouldn’t bulge, so I decided to not cause a scene and I stepped away and waited. The priority desk would not attend to him because he did not have the required status. Eventually, I was attended to, and his line had moved to his turn and we were both served.

It is, perhaps, natural to be jealous when someone is bypassing you or coming from behind to obtain the same treatment you have spent time in the line for, but this doesn’t mean that you have been wronged in any way. In Matthew chapter 20, Jesus gave a parable regarding workers in a vineyard. The landowner went out at 6 am to hire laborers for his vineyard, and he agreed to pay them one denarius each (in today’s worth, it would be about USD72.50). Then he went out again at 9 am and brought more people in. And again, he did the same at 12 pm, 3 pm and even at 5 pm, promising to pay them whatever was right, because he had pity on them that no one hired them since morning.

At 6 pm, it was time to settle the wages of the workers, so the landowner asked his steward to call the laborers and give them their wages. Interestingly, he asked the steward to start with the guys who came in at 5 pm (just one hour ago), and instructed they be given one denarius, and then walk backwards, until it was the turn of the first guys to be hired. These had worked for 12 hours, but the owner asked that they be paid the same amount as the guys who came in an hour ago. Of course, they were not happy, so they protested. The landowner answered one of the protesters in verses 13b-15:

'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?'

Sometimes we allow what is natural to overwrite what is spiritual. When God answers the prayer of a neighbor faster than ours, we sometimes ask, why Lord? I asked first, and I have been asking for 10 years. My neighbor asked you for three months and you have answered, what did I do wrong? Do you love him/her more than me? Is he/she your favorite? Are you partial, Lord? In asking these questions, we always forget that we were saved by grace. Left to us, we should have no hope beyond the grave, but for Christ, we now have an amazing permanent future, and whatever we have in this world is temporary. We also forget that God knows what we don’t know and will always provide for our needs at the appropriate time. Why then, don’t we think that God has answered our neighbor at the right time? What if we got what we wanted in the same three months duration, and it turned out to not have been good for us?

Our selfish minds don’t always process things that are not beneficial to us very quickly. If they do, we would remember very quickly when God did things for us in the past far more quickly than our friends or colleagues, like when we got our promotions far more easily than our colleagues in the office, or when we got that car loan just in the nick of time and were able to afford that vehicle, whereas our colleagues got theirs just one month after ours and could no longer buy the car because the cost had gone sharply up. Have we not seen some people who were on the waiting list for heart transplant for five years and did not get it and others waited just for five weeks and got theirs?

If we do not know how to count our blessings, we will not know how to thank God. And if we are so jealous that we can’t even rejoice with our fellow brethren who got answers to their prayers faster than we did, how should we expect God to interpret our lack of love for brothers and sisters in the household of faith? The landowner told the laborers who protested, ‘I am doing you no wrong.’ He also asked them, ‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things, or is your eye evil because I am good?’ In the same manner, we should sometimes ask ourselves, has God done us any wrong? Does He not have the right to answer one person faster than the other? Are we sad because God is good?


If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:

Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!


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