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7th day of Nisan, 9:45 pm
Jesus told us another story today. [I've got to write all these down, because Matthew says he might make a whole book later of all these stories. Why he can't do all the writing himself, I don't know. He never had a hard time writing down all the money we owed him when he was working for the government...] Anyway, this story was about all these men working on a farm. The guys hired earliest in the morning got a contract for one denarius (John and I thought that was pretty fair for manual labor). I guess the farmer had more work than he realized, though, because he kept hiring more workers throughout the day. But these new guys weren’t offered contracts; they were just told they’d be paid whatever was right. [Maybe because they were unskilled -- after all, the farmer did just hire a bunch of guys who were standing around in the market.] Still, they came to work, just trusting the farmer would pay them a fair wage. Or I guess they didn’t necessarily trust him — maybe they just figured any money is better than none. After all it was getting late in the day and they were still sitting around waiting for work.
In the end, though, all the workers got the same pay, even the ones who had only worked an hour or two. At least that’s how the story went. But it’d never happen that way in real life; it’s too unfair. Jesus is always telling stories like that, things that would never really happen. He ended this story by saying something like, “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” It was really similar to what he told Peter earlier in the day. Peter was reminding Jesus of all we’d left to come and follow him; and he wanted to know what we’d get for it in return. JC’s answer was that we’d get 100 times what we’d left behind, plus eternal life.
John and I were trying to figure 100 times what we would have made fishing for the past three years with dad. It’s hard to say, but it’d be a whole whole lot of denarii… or fish — depending on how you look at it. I’m wondering how Jesus is gonna’ come through on these promises he’s making. As for the eternal life thing, we’re all guessing it’s just another analogy of some sort… **sigh**
Anyway, after JC answered Peter about our future payment, he said something about the first being last and all that stuff. I think that’s why he started telling the story of the unfair farmer in the first place. But none of us really understands this last being first stuff. We all are excited Jesus is starting to make statements, though — in the past he’s just asked questions (even when one of us asked a question first). Really, who answers a question with a question? I guess the guy who’s going to rule his own kingdom can do whatever he wants. We’re still placing bets on when he’ll give us permission to start the revolt. Me and John each put money on a different date, but agreed to share the winnings if one of us comes out on top. I’m starting to wonder, though, if it was wise for us to let Iscariot hold all the money; dude’s got some wee beady little eyes.
I hear we’re going to Jerusalem soon. I wonder when I’ll see Lazarus’ sister, Martha, again? Wow, did she know how to clean a house! And she’s not bad looking either. **dreaming**
Well, I’m tired and need to get some sleep. John’s finally out of the bathroom, so I can use it now. He sure does spend a lot of time on his beard and hair for a guy who basically grew up on a fishing boat. Good night, diary.
* This post is the first in a “dear diary” series from Matthew 20. The next post is here.