A short story based on real life
The Shocking Truth
Retold by Brigitte Franssen
Illustrated by Jef Franssen
A landowner went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About the third hour he went out again and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'Go and work in my vineyard and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and still found others standing around. He asked them: 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 'Because no-one has hired us,' they answered. He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'
When evening came the landowner said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'
The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they saw this they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you gave them the same as us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'
But the landowner answered them. 'Friends, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious of my generosity to others?'
The shocking truth is that that what is proclaimed as unfair is often nothing more than envy showing its ugly face.
~ The End ~
The Bible, Matthew 20:1-16
© Brigitte Franssen 2012