In the first half of Matthew chapter 20, Jesus tells a parable of a man and his vineyard. When I read this parable, I think of myself as a young christian. I remember that I often thought about the idea of waiting until I was closer to dying to receive Jesus. It seemed like that would be the best of both worlds. I would get to do whatever I wanted all my life and then still get into heaven.

Much like the laborers who worked from the beginning of the day, I would get frustrated that people got the same reward for accepting Jesus shortly before they died as I would get for following him for many years. I believe Jesus would reply to this way of thinking similarly to the way the owner of the vineyard replies to his disgruntled workers. I imagine him saying something like, “Is this reward not enough for you?” In other words, “Is grace not enough for you?”

But the reward is enough. It’s enough because whether you have been sold out in your faith for as long as you can remember or you accepted Jesus yesterday, you don’t deserve grace. No amount of “labor” for Jesus could ever pay back this reward. Knowing how much we are forgiven, could we ever say it is unfair to “only” receive grace?

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9

—Jake Ikerd