John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Read John 1:14-18 Jesus was full of the grace of God, and came to declare God’s grace to us. We can only see God through seeing Jesus. And of Jesus’ fullness we have all received grace. Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ and the law was given by Moses.
Read Matthew 20: 1-16 Jesus tells us The Parable of the Hired laborers. In this story the owner of the vineyard pays the workers who work all day the same wages as the worker who arrives just before the work day is over. Jesus is saying that God has a different view of what is important. People who are grabbing for themselves and worrying about how to get it all for themselves, or get more than another person, have the wrong view. God is looking for us to give Him all of ourselves. Some people don’t respond to God’s call until later in life. They receive the same gift of grace as those who responded to God’s call when they are children. In God’s view they are equal in Christianity. The Christian who has been a Christian all of their life does not have anymore Christianity in their soul than the person who has been Christian only a day. When you accept God’s grace, you are all equal. There are, of course, knowledge level differences between these two Christians, but not soul level differences. Also the person who has walked with God longer, has avoided many worldly or sin related problems that the other person has had, or at least has had Godly support during those problems, and has been blessed longer by God. The issue is to look to God, and not to your own reward. Jesus set us a good example of this with his ministry. When we look at Jesus and His priorities we see what God’s priorities are. God’s priority is to win souls back to him. Jesus shows us that the two most important things we are two do is to love God above everything, and love others like we love ourselves.
One of the major blessings to a Christian is being able to share in the joy of someone else’s redemption. In this parable the point at the end about “the first shall be last and the last shall be first” is the most telling thing about this whole parable. It is the idea that the land owner could have paid those who worked all day first, then sent them on their way. They probably wouldn’t have known that the ones who arrived later got paid the same wage if he had done that. Instead, what the land owner was looking for was an appreciation of his generosity, and for the workers who had worked all day to celebrate the good fortune of the later workers in still being paid enough to feed their families, despite being hired later in the day. A Denarius was what it typically took to feed a family for a day in Jesus’ time.
Instead what the workers did was look to themselves and shout that the situation was unfair. That is a typical world view commonly held today, “It’s not fair, I did more so I should get more!” or “It’s not fair they get more, even though…..” Both views are the world view. God views things very differently.
God gives us what we need to accomplish the task that he has put us on this earth to do. If you need to be wealthy to accomplish that task, then you will be, but if you don’t then you probably won’t be. God is not against wealth, he just doesn’t see it the same way that the world sees it. If I tell you that God is going to make you wealthy because you follow him, then that would most likely turn out to be a lie. There are plenty of examples of people in the Bible who followed God and were not financially wealthy. Take the story of the widow’s offering to be an example (Mark 12:41-44) This woman was clearly not wealthy, yet she was faithful. God blesses the faithful, but there are all kinds of blessings that do not necessarily include financial wealth. True wealth is being able to have a lifetime of relationship with God because of having accepted his son, Jesus Christ as your personal savior, and being able to share that joy with others!
By the way, here is another often misquoted Bible verse for you about wealth: 1Timothy 6:10 The love of money is the root of all evil. Frequently you just hear people say, “Money is the root of all evil” That is not true. It is the “love” of money, not the money itself that is the problem. So look to God and enjoy the blessings he has for you whatever form those blessings take in your life!