A rich young man has just walked away from an invitation to equality. Sadly, it looks like life has taught him that it is better to rely on inequality. When all God can offer is 'daily bread' it never seems enough.
Peter, who seems to roll the question, 'What's in it for me'? around and around with amazing regularity has witnessed this departure. His question springs up again, and Jesus astonishes him with a declaration of extravagant reward. If Peter is anxious about a poor pay off, Jesus overwhelms him with a vision of plenty.
Peter seems unconvinced, so the Divine Teacher says, " Once upon a time .......
The story He tells is universally disliked and definitely unfair! Disciples are vulnerable. There is no salary or pension plan, no holiday or sickness pay. Each morning, God calls them to work in His Vineyard, and all He offers is Justice at the setting of the sun.
Then God notices that some are standing idle. It is not that they are lazy. It's only that no one has asked them to do anything. As the sun journeys across the sky, God keeps asking and they keep coming.
Now, you might think that God would measure the pay to fit the work: £6.25 an hour. But suddenly justice expands into generosity and the late arrivals find themselves on the receiving end of God's Kindness. Complaints are lodged. Peter is in full swing. And Jesus answers his question with a question. 'My friend ..... why be envious because I am generous?
Learning how to reverse round a corner is probably the most challenging part of learning to drive. Learning how the first shall be last and the last first is an even tougher lesson for the disciple. But when we are dealing with the Heavenly Father of Jesus, another way of thinking is demanded. For God calls us out of the world of envy, jealousy and comparisons into a world where Grace flows like liquid light.
Peter has to know that God has given Him, and the rest, all that He has. Which, of course, is one day's wages.