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The Garden (2)

The sun was warm and bright, but a light breeze made the afternoon comfortable. Not comfortable enough for Nathan, however, who was pulling weeds in his neighbor’s garden to make some extra money. He was glad to get the job, but he was getting weary.

“Hi, Nathan,” said his sister Lydia as she came into the garden. “Mr. Jones saw me outside and said I could join you. Wow, what a lot of weeds!” Lydia chose a row of carrots to begin in and started pulling.

“Yeah,” answered Nathan, “this is a big job. I’m getting pretty hot and tired.” His row of tomatoes was getting cleaned a bit more tiredly, too.

The two hadn’t been working long together when Mr. Jones came out to the garden. “Nice work, kids, but that’s enough for one day. I don’t want you to get too hot. You can finish tomorrow.” And with that he handed them both their pay.

“Thank you, Mr. Jones,” said Nathan.

“Yes, thank you, Mr. Jones,” added Lydia.

When they were home, Lydia set her money down and said, “I’m going to get my money jar and count how much I have saved up.”

“Hey, that’s not fair!” protested Nathan as he saw what she had set down. “You got the same amount of money that I got, and I worked longer!”

“What’s the problem?” popped in Mother when she heard Nathan’s raised voice.

Nathan explained the situation to her.

“Hmm, this reminds me of one of those pictures we’re watching for. Just wait ‘til tonight.”

At suppertime Father read one of Jesus’ parables. Lydia and Nathan listened attentively to the story about the servants who were hired at different times of day. The ones who were hired earliest complained when they were all paid the same amount at the end of the day.

“Although I can guess, I don’t know for sure why Mr. Jones gave Lydia the same wages as you, Nathan,” began Father, “but I do know that the late-comers in this parable didn’t deserve their wages. In the Judgement Day, when God pays us who are His children, He won’t reward us for our own works, but only for the perfect work that Christ has done in us. We won’t get what we deserve, and that’s the point. If we did, we would go to hell just like those complaining servants in the parable who got what they deserved and were sent away. This parable is a picture of God’s grace for His elect children.”

Look up Matthew 20:1-16 and “see” this picture for yourself!