Matthew 20:1-16

1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.

2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.

4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’

5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing.

6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius.

10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.

11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.

12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?

14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.

15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


My interpretation of this is that rewards of this life (whether you call it salvationheaven or being saved) has no bearing on how early on you or your people or your religious group were called to walk the path that leads to God.

The last group of workers, hired at 5 in the afternoon are those muslims who recieved the call to serve the God of Abraham ages after the other workers were hired, i.e – christians and jews.

So at the end of this life, when righteous muslims are called to recieve their reward, along with righteous jews, righteous christians etc., God will “pay” the muslims the same as those who were “first”(Christians and Jews). Those who were first cannot say that they were cheated, as they too recieved the reward that was originally promised to them.

The parables conclusion : “the last will be first and the first will be last” basically means that one should not look down condescendingly upon those who came after them. The call to worship the God of Abraham did not end with Jesus and “being saved” is not only a christian thing. 

God has laid out different paths for different people to attain the same “reward”, and different people are called at different times. To think that other paths to being saved is invalid basically amounts to arguing with the Creator as if saying “but I did everything you asked me to do to be saved! How can you reward all these other guys who did not do as I did??”