God’s Kingdom is like this. There’s a guy who owns a bit of land, and he goes out right at the crack of dawn to hire a few blokes to work on his property. He agrees with some workers to a day’s wage for the day’s work, and sends them along to his vineyard. Around morning tea time he goes out to the markets and sees a few more blokes standing around without any work. He says to these guys, “Head on down to my property, and I’ll pay you a fair wage.” So off they go. About lunch time and arvo tea time he does the same thing. After this, a couple of hours before sundown, he finds a few other blokes still at the markets, and he says to them, “How come you’ve been standing here all day without any jobs?” And they say, “Well no one hired us” So he tells them, “You guys head down to my property.”
Well it gets dark and the owner tells his foreman, “Call those blokes in and pay them, starting with the last lot and working up to the first.” So they gather around, and those who get hired just before the end of the day each get a full day’s wage. So the mob who got hired first reckon they’re going to get heaps more, but those guys just get a day’s wage as well. So they start whinging to the owner, like, “You hired those guys last, and they just worked an hour, but you treated them the same as us, and we worked hard through heat of the day.” But the boss man replies, “Mate, there’s no foul here. Didn’t we agree to a day’s wage? So take your money and off you go. But I want to give to this last lot the same as I gave you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Or are you jealous because I’m generous?
This is how the first will be last and the last will be first.