Matthew 20: 11-13.”And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou has made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?”
Can’t you just hear the muttering and murmuring that began to build as the workers who had spent long hours in the vineyard realized that those who had worked far less time than they had were being paid exactly the same wage?
“No fair! I’m going to complain to the Union Boss about this! We worked through the hottest part of the day, some of us for a full twelve hours! We should be paid more than those who only worked for one hour! This just isn’t right. We need to go on strike, picket, trash the vineyard, something! Man. I’m going to tell everyone I see how unfair this boss is, treats his workers like trash and gets away with it. This has to stop, and I’m just the man to see that it does!”
By this time, the groundswell of complaint had reached the owner of the vineyard. His response?
“Friend. . . .” Did you ever stop and think about just that one word? Some of those men were probably angry enough to do him harm, and yet he calmly called them his friends.
He goes on to say, “Look, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me to work for a denarius for the day? We have a contract. You fulfilled your part, and I’m fulfilling mine. You didn’t think a denarius was too little money when you started working this morning. You agreed to it in full faith.”