Many of the stories, or parables, we read in the New Testament seem mostly concerned with relationships of different kinds. We come across numerous people in different situations, but the story line is not so much about who they are, but what they do, and their relationships with each other.
So, is it possible to relate these stories to our own relationships? I believe it is, because it seems to me Jesus had an underlying message for us all and deliberately wanted us to find out more about ourselves by delving deeper into His parables than the surface story was about
There is a parable in Matthew’s Gospel which has always had me questioning my sense of fairness. The story of the vineyard servants hired last getting paid the same as those who had laboured all day in the hot sun. To me it just didn’t seem a fair payment, until I asked myself why should I feel this way?
I realise that my understanding must really stem from how I would feel if I was in the shoes of those early workers. In reality, I have been saying to myself the owner shouldn’t be so generous, because in doing so he has tended to remove the just reward of those workers who have toiled throughout the day and equalise everything. And that’s not how it goes in this world of ours.
When I realise my envy and competitiveness is not the way our Father in Heaven wants me to feel towards others, I get a different slant on the story entirely. I think this parable is given to us to uncover something deeper within ourselves.
Maybe, as in my case, I feel I am being invited to treat others as Jesus would treat them, rather than how the world has trained me to react in a self-righteous way.
There is no doubt this is one parable that has a message for us all today, even though it was voiced over 2000 years ago.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.