The Strawberry Farmer

The kingdom of heaven is like a strawberry farmer who went out early in the morning to hire workers to pick his fields. At 7:00 he hired three for $10 an hour. Seeing that the strawberries were plentiful he went out at 10:00 and found more workers waiting to be hired. “Go join the others,” he said, “and I’ll pay whatever is right.”

He went out and did the same at 12:00 and at 2:00 pm. Finally at 4:00 pm he went into the town square and found some workers still lounging around. “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing,” he said.

“No one has hired us,” they said.

“Go and work in my strawberry fields,” he said, “And I’ll pay you whatever is fair.

At the end of the day, he charged his foreman with paying the workers, beginning with the last ones. The workers who were hired at four in the afternoon received $100. Hearing about this, the ones hired first supposed they would receive much more but when their turn came they were given $100. Looking at the dollar bills in their fist, they began to grumble. “It’s not fair, “they said, “We laboured through the heat of the day and received no more than those who worked only an hour.”

Hearing their grumbling, the farmer asked, “Didn’t you agree to work for $10 an hour?”

“Yes,”, they replied but—

“Take your pay, and go,” the farmer said, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” And so the first shall be last and the last first in the kingdom. (See Matt. 20:1-16)

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