The parable of the vineyard workers

“The kingdom of heaven can be compared to the story of a landowner who went out early one morning to find people to work in his vineyard. After agreeing with them about the wage for the day, he sent them off to work. A few hours later he saw more men standing idle in the marketplace. He told them to go to his vineyard as well and he would pay them a fair wage. Around noon and again at 3 PM he hired more men. Around 5 o’clock he saw yet more people and asked them ‘Why are you standing around here doing nothing?’ ‘Because no one has hired us’, they said. ‘Go to my vineyard’, he told them, ‘and you will get a fair wage.’

When the work was over for the day, the owner told the foreman, “Call the workers in and pay them, starting with the last who were hired and ending with the first.” When the ones who were hired around 5 o’clock came, they were each paid a full day’s wage. When the first who were hired came, they were sure that they would get more, but they received the same amount as those who were hired last. The complained, saying ‘The guys you hired last only worked for one hour, and you gave them the same amount as us, who worked all day in the burning heat!’
‘Friend,’ he replied to one of them, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong to you! Didn’t you agree to work all day for this wage? Take it and leave. I want to give the last people who were hired the same as I give the first. Don’t I have the right to run my business the way I want? Are you upset because I am kind?’

In the same way, the last will be first and the first will be last.”

MT 20:1-16

The return of the 70

The 70 disciples returned, joyfully reporting to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons submit to us when we use your name!”

He said, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy. You can walk on snakes and scorpions and nothing will ever harm you. However, don’t celebrate about the fact that spirits submit to you. The important thing is that your names are known in heaven.”

LK 10:17-20

Waitress or whore?

Your server is not your servant. The person who brings your food to you shouldn’t have to grovel. I have heard of people who will put out twenty one dollar bills on the table and tell the waitress that if she performs to their happiness this will be her tip. Every time something doesn’t happen the way they think it should happen, they take a dollar away. They think they’re encouraging good service, but they are really simply promoting servitude.

When you go to a restaurant you have not hired someone to be your slave for the evening. If you want that kind of attention then you need to hire a butler or a prostitute. When you go to a restaurant, there are at least 20 other people the server has to wait on. You are not her only customer. It is not the waitress’ fault if the cooks are slow. It isn’t her fault if the food does not taste like you wanted it to. It is not her fault if the cooks mis-read the order and gave you the wrong thing. Don’t punish her for things that she has no control over.

Heck, don’t punish her at all. Remember that “treat others like you would like to be treated” thing? If you want to see how someone really is, watch how they treat the server at a restaurant. How they treat someone who can’t defend themselves says a lot about them. Don’t be that person. Treat the server as if she is your daughter. Be kind to her.

Ideally, we wouldn’t have a tip system for servers. They’d be paid a good wage to start off with. They wouldn’t have to do extra to get paid. The way the current system is set up, they are paid below minimum wage and they have to get tips to make up the difference. Tips aren’t extra. They are everything. Until that changes, you can make it easier on your server by just tipping well and not expecting her to do tricks for you.

The coming of the Son of Man

“Just after the tribulation of those days the sun and moon will become dark, stars will fall from the skies, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. The nations will be bewildered by the roaring sea and the immense waves. People will tremble because they are afraid of what is about to happen, because everything in the sky is breaking apart.

Then they will see the signs of the Son of Man appearing among the clouds with great power and glory. He will send forth his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather up those he has called from the four winds from the ends of the earth and sky.

Many people will lament, but as for you, when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near.”

MT 24:29-31, MK 13:24-27, LK 21:25-28

The parable of the good Samaritan

There was a man who wanted to justify his actions and said “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus answered him by telling a parable. “There once was a Jewish man who was attacked by robbers as he was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. They took all of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him lying half dead on the side of the road. When a priest walked down that same road and saw him, he crossed over to the other side and walked on by. After that a Levite did the same thing. Then a Samaritan, sworn enemy of the Jews, noticed him and had compassion. He kneeled beside him and put healing ointments and bandages on his wounds. Then he put the man on the animal he had been riding. Walking all the way, he led the donkey to an inn and continued to take care of the man throughout the night. The next day he gave the innkeeper two day’s worth of room and board. He said ‘Please take care of him. I’ll pay you back when I return if the bill is any higher.'”

Jesus asked, “Which of the three people would you say was a neighbor to the man who had been waylaid by the robbers?” The man replied, “The one who showed him compassion.” Jesus told him “Go and do likewise.”

LK 10:29-37

The question about the Messiah

Jesus asked this question while he taught in the Temple complex, “Why do the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David says in the Psalms ‘God said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ Since David called him his Lord, how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd was delighted with this teaching.

MT 22:41-46, MK 12:35-37, LK 20:41-44

The Primary Commandment

The Pharisees went to where Jesus was when they heard how he had refuted the Sadducees. An expert in the Law challenged Jesus asking him, “Which commandment is the most important?”

Jesus answered, “‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all of your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second commandment is like it -‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There are no commandments greater than these two. All the teachings of the Prophets and the Law base their foundation upon these two commandments.”

The man who questioned him said “You are correct, Teacher! You spoke the truth when you said that there is only One God, and that we are to love God with all of our being, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. These practices are far more important that all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Because of the wisdom of his answer, Jesus said to him “You are not far from entering the kingdom of God. You have answered correctly. If you do these things you will live. ”

The authorities did not dare to challenge him any further.

MT 22:34-40, MK 12:28-34, LK 10:25-28